Gannett Co. Inc. has eliminated 206 positions at its six newspapers in New Jersey due to declining advertising revenues and the worsening economy.
Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper company, announced in October that it planned a 10 percent work force cut nationwide in response to declining revenue. The latest reductions follow a 3 percent cut announced in August.
The company began notifying affected employees Tuesday at the Asbury Park Press in Neptune, the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, the Home News Tribune in East Brunswick, the Courier News in Bridgewater, the Daily Record in Parsippany and The Daily Journal in Vineland.
"The economic downturn we are facing is severe and is expected to last throughout next year," Thomas M. Donovan, president and publisher of the Asbury Park Press and vice president of Gannett's East Newspaper Group, said in a statement published on the Asbury Park Press Web site. "We have reduced expenses significantly throughout this year. But, unfortunately, as we looked ahead to economic forecasts for 2009, it became clear that we needed to make further reductions."
There was no immediate word on how many employees at each newspaper were affected, nor how many of the cuts were layoffs or how many newsroom jobs were lost.
Laid-off employees received severance packages based on their length of service with the company.
McLean, Va.-based Gannett is the publisher of USA Today and 85 local and regional newspapers.