Morning Media Newsfeed: Hundreds Gone at Gannett | Free Press Editor Fired | Peyser Leaving NY Post

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Report: More Than 200 Layoffs at Gannett’s Community Papers (Gannett Blog)
Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing newspaper division has now cut an estimated 218 jobs across at least 37 worksites, according to Gannett Blog readers. These figures are very preliminary and are almost certain to rise in the days ahead as more employees are notified. Most of the job losses were through layoffs over the past 24 hours, with a much smaller number comprising open positions that have been permanently eliminated, according to these readers. Other cost-cutting measures across the 81-title division include eliminating travel spending — all, in response to weaker-than-expected advertising revenue in the second quarter that may be spilling over into the current one. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Nine positions are being eliminated at The Post-Crescent in Appleton and seven at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Among those cut was longtime Press-Gazette editorial cartoonist Joe Heller, sources said. The layoffs include both journalists and non-newsroom employees. Cincinnati City Beat Because of Gannett’s secrecy with staffing issues, it’s difficult to confirm any specific report. No names have been provided yet. Here are the layoff reports I’m getting from Gannett papers.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Fires Editor Drew Johnson (
Chattanooga Times Free Press officials said Thursday that editor Drew Johnson had been fired “after placing a headline on an editorial outside of normal editing procedures.” The newspaper said, “Johnson’s headline, ‘Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough,’ appeared on the Free Press page Tuesday, the day President Barack Obama visited the city.” Chattanooga Times Free Press The headline was inappropriate for this newspaper. It was not the original headline approved for publication, and Johnson violated the normal editing process when he changed the headline. The newspaper’s decision to terminate Johnson had nothing to do with the content of the editorial, which criticized the president’s job creation ideas and Chattanooga’s Smart Grid. In an interview with NewsChannel 9 Thursday afternoon, Johnson said he was fired for violating a policy that didn’t exist at the time he wrote the editorial. “The next day I came in I was told there would be a policy put in place because people had complained about the title, and I said that’s fine. And [Thursday] I was brought in and [they] said ‘you’re fired’ for violating that policy that wasn’t created until after I wrote the piece.”

Andrea Peyser Is Leaving The New York Post for A While (NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer)
At the end of a typical dispatch from the New York City of Andrea Peyser’s glorious imagination — which veers from Sept. 11 to Anthony Weiner — the endearingly batty New York Post columnist announced her exit, at least temporarily. NY Post / Andrea Peyser To my friends, colleagues and frenemies. You, too, Alec Baldwin: You won’t be hearing from me for a while. I am taking a leave of absence from this newspaper. I dread missing the daily lunacies of Weiner/Spitzer, a pair of pervs who made coming to work each day feel like a vacation. I’ll miss giving hell to Gwyneth Paltrow and Lindsay Lohan. Most of all, I’ll miss the give-and-take with you, my loyal readers.

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Brian Williams Taking Leave of Absence for Knee Replacement Surgery (TVNewser)
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will undergo replacement surgery on his right knee next week and will be off the program for at least a few weeks. His knee problems date back to a high school football injury. Lester Holt will fill in for Williams while he is out.