Democrat-Gazette Newsroom Takes Furloughs; Wehco Cuts Costs at All Newspapers

The Arkansas Times popped their note here about more cost-cutting measures at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Arkansas Business media writer Mark Hengel follows up with more here, including word that all of publisher Walter Hussman’s Wehco newspapers are trying to contain costs in some way or another as ad revenue dries up.

General Manager Paul Smith tells Hengel that each of the company’s newspaper departments were asked to find ways to cut costs. At the Democrat-Gazette, the newsroom chose furloughs, taking off one day every four weeks, thereby cutting wages by 5 percent:

“This keeps as many people on the job as possible,” [Deputy Editor Frank] Fellone said.

He said he does not expect the newspaper’s news coverage to shrink.

“I’m confident we can cover all the news we need to cover even if we need to throw a rookie like me out there,” he said.

This 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 freeze.

The D-G isn’t the only Arkansas newspaper facing tough times, of course. Stephens Media, owner of the daily Southwest Times Record at Fort Smith, the Pine Bluff Commercial and The Morning News at Springdale, as well as the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock, suspended its 401(k) match program last month. And it previously laid off workers at its Washington D.C. bureau.

And furloughs are nothing new to Gannett Co. employees, including those at KTHV-TV, Channel 11, and the Baxter Bulletin.

Related

In the spirit of this dispiriting newspaper death watch, Real Clear Politics has listed 10 newspapers that are on the the bubble. Included on the list when it was released last week: the Rocky Mountain News, which indeed folded Friday. Others on the list, and their vitals:

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3 Responses

  1. […] add content-sharing to the growing list of cost-cutting methods in place at Hussman’s Wehco media company, a list that also includes layoffs, furloughs and pay […]

  2. […] add content-sharing to the growing list of cost-cutting methods in place at Hussman’s Wehco media company, a list that also includes layoffs, furloughs and pay […]

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

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