Not long after I started tracking layoffs across the company, Gannett deleted a key piece of information from the Corporate webpages of each of the major U.S. worksites: total local employment. (Here's one of those pages.)
But every so often, a publisher or general manager spills the beans. And that was the case today at Vermont's Burlington Free Press, where Publisher Jim Fogler wrote a long, l-o-n-g letter to readers about the paper's growth prospects. (Oddly, it was published on the front page, in the above-the-fold position traditionally set aside for the main news story of the day.)
Fogler says the paper now employs "more than 160 hard-working employees -- including 40 in the newsroom (our information center). This is the largest journalistic force of any local news organization, by far. Our commitment to covering this community will not waver."
It's worth noting, of course, that any GCI paper's commitment to covering their community will not waver -- until the next staff reduction. For example, in August 2008, before the first of a wave of GCI-wide layoffs, the Free Press employed about 270 people. Indeed, only two months ago, the paper cut seven more jobs in the latest round of job reductions, one that eliminated an estimated 253 jobs at 63 U.S. dailies, according to Gannett Bloggers.
Note: Burlington's Monday-Saturday circulation is 32,450; Sunday is 42,679.