Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Lays Off 31

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel laid off 26 full-time and 5 part-time employees this Monday and offered a buyout to newsroom employees represented by the guild, Editor & Publisher reports.

We reported on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s cost-cutting measures late last month; back then, word was that 16 to 18 Guild-covered positions would be eliminated through buyouts. The layoffs, in advertising and other business operations, are a bit of a surprise, as the paper was thought to be cutting costs through buyouts and through a 6% across-the-board pay cut for the rest of 2009.

We need to continue to adjust our expense platform to align it with the realities of our reduced revenue base,” president and publisher Elizabeth “Betsy” Brenner said in a memo to employees.

On Friday, the Journal Sentinel’s parent company, Journal Communications, filed what’s called a shelf registration to sell securities worth up to $400 million. This money could be used to repay debt or invest in new business opportunities; our money’s not on the latter.