Phoenix: 27 retire in news; what is paper’s total?

The Arizona Republic delayed any layoffs during the recent round of 1,000 Gannett newspaper job cuts, because the big Phoenix newspaper still had buyout offers on the table. Now, in a memo, top Republic editor Randy Lovely (leftsays 27 newsroom employees are leaving — presumably, all in buyouts or traditional retirements. “These individuals have worked tirelessly to provide our readers with a top-notch daily news report,” he said. “I am enormously grateful for their efforts.”

What about other departments at the Republic, which Corporate says employs as many as 2,700? The paper’s deteriorating financial situation suggests it was due for big overall job cuts. The Republic is likely the biggest individual workplace within Gannett, which employs about 46,000. Yet, the Phoenix paper has been hit hard over the past 12 months by real estate-related advertising losses. Indeed, Arizona is one of four states (the others are California, Nevada and Florida) where a housing bust has contributed substantially to Gannett’s monthly revenue declines, and that big second-quarter earnings dive.

Some 35 Republic pressroom employees were laid off earlier this month, after being denied buyouts extended to the newsroom in July. Combined with the 27 just-announced newsroom losses, that totals 62 jobs paper-wide. Is that the Republic‘s final count?

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Earlier: Paper-by-paper layoffs

[Image: today’s Republic front page, Newseum]

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25 Responses to “Phoenix: 27 retire in news; what is paper’s total?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Gannett could have offered buyouts to older workers in the pressroom but chose to cut younger ones instead (It’s all about the money.) A real eye-opener to what the future will be like… NONE!
    Disgusting. Dumped my stock in honor of the occasion.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Lot’s of fat still parked in the Republic newsroom. Big salaries handed out to reporters with very low story counts and photographers with low photo assignments per week.Handful of photographers making over $1500 per week shoot one assignment per day. These staffers are the chosen ones! They pull down the primo assignments and shoot very little, then head home or say they are heading out to research a story or pick up needed gear or supplies.
    The Director of Photography’s pets! Other staffers who don’t kiss a#%, on average have three and four assignments per day. I welcome a cleaning of the newsroom and I’ll take my chances on being one of the lucky or unlucky ones to get cut. I work hard stay late and do the best job that I can do. But knowing the way management works around this place. The high dollar lazy toads will keep their jobs and the hard working underpaid workers that produce for this paper will be shown the door. All comes down to who you know and who you blow.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    It is a shame out of all the people I know in the “Arizona Republic” pressroom there is only two comments here. I know of personally of people in the pressroom that have up to 40 years with gannett. They came from “tucson” where there is another “Gannett” paper and transferred……………they are being thrown out without nothing!! there are near 35 employees that have most all between one year and 40 with most leaning towards 5 years!! These people have families and bills like all of us! Shame on the management upstairs who by the way have offered buyouts to the “mailers” but the pressroom personel are being treated like garbage! Shame , shame, shame, whoever made this descision needs to search for their soul!

  4. Jim Hopkins Says:

    @4:01 pm: Why weren’t the pressroom employees offered buyouts, too — just like those offered to the newsroom staff?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Could it be the same reason the Asbury Park Press drivers were not offered buyouts?
    http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/reports-asbury-park-press-laying-off.html

  6. Anonymous Says:

    az rep pressroom were not offered buyouts because they weren’t “layed off”. we work under a system called a sub line. management has just cut the manning of the pressroom to the point where there is NO work for the guys (35 or so) at the bottom of the sub list. so while they haven’t been fired or layed off there is very little chance that any of them will be able to make a living in the pressroom. we asked for buyouts for the mostly older guys at the top of the sublist but we were turned down because we all make the same amount of money per shift so any replacements would cost gannett the same. another thing the az rep is doing is still training apprentice pressmen that when they get their pressman training done they won’t have a pressroom job waiting for them.

    i’m not a writer so hopefully the above is understandable.

    later
    a pressman who’d take a buyout if offered

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I might add one thing to the above comment. These people that were called”subs” under gannett were getting five days a week for 90% of them and they had like I said between one year and up to 40 years, some being transferred from “tucson”. IT is a disgrace regardless even if the company does call everyone on the priority list a subsitute except for “11” people who are on the attrition list, guarenteed five, and there was 115 employees in the pressroom! The company here is calling a zebra a horse!!!

  8. Jim Hopkins Says:

    @7 pm: We got you — loud and clear! Thanks for visiting, and please ask your friends to join you when you come back. This blog isn’t just about the newsroom, after all!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I will also tell you clearer that the union is weak and takes any answer management gives them!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    thanks for the blog jim!! Grateful in arizona!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    at least with this blog people have an idea of what Gannett is doing at other papers and can prepare for their own futures.

    It sounds as though what they are doing in Arizona’s pressroom is exactly what they have done at other sites. This is not a new game they are playing…they’ve just moved it to the another part of the country.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    The newsroom buyouts in Phoenix equaled 778 years of service. But they could have easily surpassed 1000 years of service if they had opened the buyout process to anyone in the newsroom the way other papers have done. Morale here is so low people who weren’t offered buyouts congratulated those who took them.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    What do you get when you walk over to the Republic photo desk? Two Hispanics and a Jew!
    Not being racist…. This is what’s left of the photo desk after layoffs and buyouts. I believe the photo desk crew came up with this joke.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Not only is the departure of all the people a loss for the Republic, but it is an incredible drain of institutional knowledge.
    Oh, and y’all will love this: Randy Lovely, exec editor (don’t get me started) wants to hold some kind of party for all the departed to honor what they did for the paper.
    Gimme a break. Who in their right mind would attend such an event? Most of the people who left are glad to be gone. Morale in the newsroom is lower than low, and people are wondering who is next. Many evaluation ratings were downgraded this year, making people think they are targeted. If you got a 2.5 two years in a row, look out. All that is left are kids putting out the paper. There is no investigative reporting, no hard-hitting pieces on McCain (who still does not talk to the newspaper despite upper management dumping the previous ace reporters and editor who covered him) and the presidential coverage is a joke.
    In short, a good place to be gone from. The rag truly DOES NOT serve the readers.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Can somebody explain what/how Linda Valdez still is employed by the Republic? Does she have pictures of somebody with a goat or other woodland creature?

  16. Anonymous Says:

    I used to work at the Republic when it was a fairly respectable newspaper. A friend forwarded me the buyout memo and I read it with a lump in my throat – and a burst of pride. Some of those folks were my mentors – and the best damned people in the business. An incredible amount of talent has been sucked out of that newsroom in such a short time.

    I wonder how some of the no-talent, no-editing idiots in management are able to keep their jobs. This newspaper will continue its downward spiral as Gene Pulliam breakdances in his grave.

  17. Jim Hopkins Says:

    I just deleted a comment that constituted an especially personal attack on an employee.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Being in phoenix is like being in a zoo! Managemant acts like predatory animals and the lower pions………..appease when needed! Alot of jobs are union in different departments buy when you cross the mississippi the unions are very strange!!!! These people out here actually think if they if they spin on their heads they will take care of them because I am “a Hometowner” It”s all about the money “baby” and you aren’t getting any you blue collar working slob! I think eight years of the political people incharge have made that perfectly clear!!!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Before I discovered this blog, I used to think the AZ Republic was unique in its phenomenon of promoting people to upper mgmt after they had proven merely that they can attend lots of meetings and update top leaders on their latest initiatives and pet projects. They also had proven themselves highly skilled in walking around with clipboards. As for people-management skills, communication skills or journalism skills, most are mediocre at best. And many of these high-level editors were never respected by mid-level supervisors and were universally loathed by the rank and file below them. But the top leaders who promote them don’t see this, or maybe they’re happy to overlook this because those substandard employees “manage up” brilliantly. Fortunately, the Republic’s upper echelon can turn to each other for comfort amid the sadness in the newsroom. You still hear plenty of laughing and chattering from those top editors’ offices these days. Maybe that makes up for not being respected by the 350 journalists right outside their office doors.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Amen. It is hard to imagine a less-talented group of upper managers, especially those in charge of A1.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I am on the advertising side and I find it interesting that nobody is talking about the layoffs there. We know it is coming our way and people are scrambling to look busy. Still no word when it is going to happen. Anyone know?

  22. Anonymous Says:

    TO 1:05am I’m an advertising manager and even I haven’t heard when the day is happening. My manager has not even told us who is on that list. Geez, maybe I’m on that list!?!
    I’m more suprised that noone is talking about this new VP. Noone knows him but he is now having these ridiculous meetings every Thursday with all of the ad managers. He is only 1 for 3 showing up on time. Like he doesnt think we have better things to do? All we do is hear other managers BS success stories. Does anyone think these are for real? Today was the worst meeting yet. He put up a quote that didnt make any sense at all. WASTE OF TIME!!!

  23. Anonymous Says:

    1:30 AM I heard that guy was driving everybody crazy. Will be interesting to see how he communicates the cuts. So far he hasnt said boo to anybody.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Another interesting tidbit from todays inspirational meeting with PRICKER: he said that online revenue was -21% in period 8. Not sure how that is possible. That is worse than in some print areas. Then again, has anyone seen the caliber of talent in the online area? What a joke. Print reps sell most of the online ads anyway.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    and the Ricker train will keep on rolling…I was in advertising and it seems like if I didnt get let go now, that it would have happened in another year anyway…it would have just delayed the inevitable.

    Ricker is not respected and not well-liked. I agree with his lateness traits as well….there was a meeting I attended that even Zidich was at on time, and Ricker strolls in about 30min late, with a bag of fast food, and eats through the meeting! Could you get anymore of a metaphor than that??

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