UPDATED: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Lays Off ’50-60,’ 7 in Newsroom

(Updates at the end of this post.)

It’s a drop in the bucket compared to what we’re seeing at other newspapers throughout the country. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt any less.

ArkansasBusiness.com media writer Mark Hengel confirms that the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has let go 7 newsroom workers — 5 in Little Rock and 2 in Northwest Arkansas:

“I deeply regret that we have cut seven newsroom positions,” Fellone said.

The paper, owned by Wehco Media Inc. of Little Rock, has attempted to avoid making staff cuts. A hiring and wage freeze was implemented at the paper in August 2008 and management requested that employees reduce hours to conserve money.

“I would have to say that it is clear that the economic conditions are tough for us as they are for all businesses,” Fellone said.

No one’s naming names, but sources told ArkansasBusiness.com that former Democrat-Gazette business reporter Jake Bleed, who’d moved to Paul Greenberg’s editorial page, was among those let go.

We wish all them the best.

UPDATED: From Tuesday”s Democrat-Gazette:  “The floundering economy has forced the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to reduce its work force in various departments by approximately 3 percent to 5 percent during the past two months …” That’s 50-60 positions statewide, including the 7 newsroom posts. The DG employs about 1,300 people.

In Laura Stevens’ story, General Manager Paul Smith said positions were eliminated in every area of the company’s operations as advertising revenue continued to drop. And here’s a staggering nugget: Smith says the sale of Alltel Corp. and the bankruptcy of Circuit City and Goody’s will cost the newspaper about $1.2 million in 2009.

Griffin Smith, executive editor of the Democrat-Gazette, said that it was tough to let some employees go on Monday.

“We waited as far as we could, hoping that the economy would turn around, and we still hope it will,” Smith said. “We have confidence in the future for the newspaper and for the economy, but eventually we had to say that some jobs have to be eliminated. We did our best to keep the number down.”

More

Via the Think Tank: DG Columnist Jay Grelen in Editor & Publisher, two weeks ago, says “healthy” Democrat-Gazette proves publisher Walter Hussman is right about charging for content

Previously

Democrat-Gazette Looks to Reduced Hours to Cut Costs

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9 Responses

  1. […] you work at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, you might call before going in today to make sure you still have a job. (Lance Turner’s Unimaginatively Titled […]

  2. […] you work at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, you might call before going in today to make sure you still have a job. (Lance Turner’s Unimaginatively Titled […]

  3. […] includes 7 newsroom jobs, 5 in Little Rock and 2 in northwest Arkansas. Lance Turner has more over at his blog. Very sorry to hear […]

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  5. […] Posts UPDATED: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Lays ’50-60,’ Off 7 in NewsroomI Was Kidnapped by the Conservative Media MafiaSanders: Budget, Budget, Budget, Budget on ‘Arkansas […]

  6. […] Arkansas Democrat-Gazette lays off 50-60, keeps 401(k) going […]

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  8. […] is the latest attempt by the newspaper to stop the slide. Last week, layoffs. Before that, a request for workers to voluntarily cut hours. Before that, a salary and wage […]

  9. […] latest round follows other cost-cutting moves by the newspaper. Publisher Walter Hussman’s Wehco company, which owns the DG, has also made […]

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