Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fresno Bee to lay off 63

The Fresno Bee says it will lay off 63 employees and implement wage cuts for remaining workers.

The Fresno Bee said Wednesday it will lay off 63 people, cut pay and take other steps as the economic crisis drives advertisers to reduce spending or go out of business.

In a memo to employees, Bee President and Publisher Will Fleet said the cuts will occur in all departments, including news, advertising, circulation, operations and community publications.

“Almost daily, we see stories in our paper about companies that are restructuring or downsizing,” Fleet said later in the day. “Unfortunately, that news hit home for us today. I want to thank the dedicated people of The Fresno Bee for their fortitude during these challenging times, and we sincerely appreciate the good work of the employees who will be leaving us.”

Fleet said online readership continues to grow and print readership remains strong. But advertisers, who provide most of the paper’s revenue, have pulled back dramatically.

The cuts announced Wednesday are part of an effort by The Bee’s Sacramento-based parent, The McClatchy Co., to reduce annual expenses by more than $100 million. While still profitable, the company faces not only declining revenue but heavy debt from its 2006 acquisition of Knight Ridder Inc.

McClatchy said Monday it would cut about 15% of its work force, or about 1,600 full-time jobs, nationwide. The company owns 30 daily newspapers and 50 non-daily publications.

The layoffs are the third round of job cuts at The Fresno Bee since June.

Earlier this week, members of the California Media Workers Guild, which represents The Bee’s rank-and-file newsroom employees, agreed to accept pay cuts to reduce the number of layoffs.

Even with that concession, however, 16 full-time and five part-time newsroom workers will lose their jobs, along with seven newsroom managers.

Voluntary buyouts are being offered to some newsroom employees with terms equal to those for laid-off workers: two weeks of severance pay for every year of service. Departing workers also will receive two months of pay because state law requires 60 days’ notice of mass layoffs.

To see the latest tally of McClatchy cuts, click here.

Hat tip: comments and email


Anonymous said...

We're still not even anywhere near the 1600 ball park. What's really going on?

Anonymous said...

I noticed that too.

Anonymous said...

Wait for it...

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing. Anyone have a count of which papers (how many) are left to announce layoffs and how many of the 1600 they will have to lay off. It looks to me like there are a few papers left and hundreds of employees left to axe. Since I have a lot of friends working at some of those papers, I am a little nervous for them.

vdavisson said...

The Bee could have been a great paper if it gone beyond parroting AP, shilling for Dem politicians and featuring liberal theories as facts. I guess they don't think they're doing their job unless they tick off their readers at least twice on page one alone.

Anonymous said...

Idaho Statesmans D-Day is Monday.