In latest job cuts, Gannett is still a layoff novice

I worked for Gannett newspapers more than 20 years in Little Rock, Boise, Louisville and (for USA Today) in San Francisco. But with the exception of the 700-employee layoff when GCI closed The Arkansas Gazette in 1991, I can’t recall ever hearing about layoffs in the company. Keep that lack of experience in mind as the big newspaper division layoff unfolds in earnest, Dec. 3.

Gannett always staffed lean. I don’t know whether the term “dark time” is used any more. But that meant leaving jobs unfilled (hence: dark, unoccupied offices) — jobs that could be offered up to avert a layoff. So, I’m not surprised to hear that top editor Ken Paulson told USA Today newsroom employees yesterday that he had never laid off anyone before. And he’s worked for Gannett — with sizable breaks — since the 1980s.

Barring a big change in the revenue and earnings trend, Gannett is likely to demand more layoffs in the future. How could it improve the process? Please post replies in the comments section, below. E-mail confidentially via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Earlier: We’re building a paper-by-paper list of layoffs and job cuts; just three papers are listed so far, however. Will yours be included?

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