News first broke of imminent layoffs at Gannett on Gannett Blog, an unofficial Gannett blog run by Jim Hopkins, a former editor with Gannett who still maintains strong ties with people inside the company.
Hopkins posted that he heard from a source inside the company that Gannett is planning to announce on July 8 that it will be cutting 4,500 jobs in its US Community Publishing unit. As well, Hopkins reports that, according to one of his most reliable sources within the company, there is a planned 10% salary reduction for the broadcast division.
The NYT blog Media Decoder tried reaching out to the company for comment…
Tara Connell, the companys chief spokeswoman, declined to comment on the matter, except to contend that numbers cited by Mr. Hopkins had often turned out to be incorrect.
It may in fact turn out that Hopkins’s numbers are incorrect but it is certain that there will be a significant amount of layoffs. The Wall Street Journal is currently reporting that Gannett will cut at least 1,000 jobs but contends that the number of layoffs likely won’t exceed 2,000. That’s far less than Gannett Blog‘s original number but still certainly significant. Last year the company, with a current workforce of 41,500, cut 10% of its staff.
This news comes on the heels of significant restructuring at Gannett’s Minneapolis-St. Paul station, KARE-11. On June 16th, the station let go of Senior Executive Producer Lonnie Hart who had been with KARE for over 21 years. Then, a week later, KARE announced that the staff would be hit by a 4-6% pay cut effective July 1.
According to Media Decoder, analysts predict Gannett’s advertising revenue in the second quarter to be as worse as the first quarter in which the company saw a 34.1% drop compared with the period a year earlier, as well as 60% drop in profit.