Toll punches through 1,900; big dailies still missing

Gannett has eliminated 1,904 newspaper jobs in a mass layoff that moved into high gear last week, a new Gannett Blog survey today shows, as employees who survived the cuts now look ahead nervously to vastly changed working conditions.

At the urging of readers, I’ve added positions lost from separately announced press shutdowns in Asheville, N.C., and Clarksville, Tenn. (left). Our survey now includes 67 of 85 newspapers in this layoff round.

Still, papers that are missing or have incomplete figures include three of the company’s biggest individual employers: USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, and The Cincinnati Enquirer. Combined, those papers plus other worksites with missing figures employ as many as 5,500 of Gannett’s approximately 30,000 newspaper employees.

Gannett has estimated it will have cut about 2,000 jobs at the mostly small papers in its community newspaper division, once this layoff round is done. That estimate would cover Cincinnati — but not USAT or Detroit, because they’re managed in a division of their own, subject to separate budget-cutting goals.

Survivor: ‘No cavalry is coming’
Whatever the final tally, employees who escaped layoff now face a new reality. “Those left behind — at medium and small properties, anyway — are going to be crushed by the additional workload,” Anonymous@12:20 p.m. wrote today in a new comment. “I already put 10 additional hours in this week (exempt; no OT, of course), and that was nothing, because the hard workers who were laid off had worked ahead as always. . . . This week, we will begin to feel the real loss, as it is all on us and no cavalry is coming.”

There’s more: “I am not looking for sympathy. I know I am extremely lucky to still have a paycheck, and I know any number of unemployed journos out there would change places w/me in heartbeat. I am just saying that being a survivor is going to be very rough indeed, and I don’t believe we will stay on this melting iceberg very long.”

We’re tallying job cuts, paper-by-paper. Is yours included? Please post figures on our list, or in the comments section, below. You may also e-mail confidentially via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

[Image: today’s Leaf-Chronicle front page in Clarksville, Newseum]

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One Response to “Toll punches through 1,900; big dailies still missing”

  1. Walton Blakey Says:

    Invaluable article – I learned a lot from the specifics ! Does anyone know where my business might acquire a blank a form copy to use ?

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