Reports are swirling that USA TODAY publisher Gannett Co. will be laying off a large number of employees soon.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will cut 1,000 and 2,000 of its 41,500 employees. The layoffs will come from Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division, consisting of its 80+ daily newspapers, and USA TODAY will not be affected, the Journal added. The New York Times points out that Gannett’s U.S. and British newspaper divisions have cut more than 10,000 jobs in 2007 and 2008, which includes about 2,000 layoffs this past fall.
In May, our sister blog MediaJobsDaily reported exclusively that USA TODAY had laid off three ad sales reps in its New York office and one in Chicago on May 13. Gannett has also made other cost-cutting measures this year, saving $20 million through furloughs in the first quarter and requiring most of its employees to take a second furlough before June. Apparently such measures were not enough to avoid additional layoffs during the second half of 2009.
We’ll keep you posted as this story develops. But we have a feeling this bad news may come down on Thursday afternoon or Friday when all the world is already on vacation for the Fourth of July.
Update: Gawker has published an internal memo from Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division president Bob Dickey, which states that about 1,400 people will be losing their jobs and announcements should be coming down on July 9.