Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The State (Columbia, South Carolina) lays off 38, announces wage cut

Via Twitter, there are meetings today at The State. Rumor has it that features staff will take a big hit.

The State Media Co. today announced the layoff of 38 people -- 11 percent of its work force -- and wage reductions ranging from 2.5 percent to 10 percent for the rest of the employees.

Among those laid off were three vice presidents: editorial page editor Brad Warthen, circulation director Pat McFarland, and marketing and special publications director Kim Dalglish.

"We are seeing the worst advertising climates in our lifetime," said president and publisher Henry B. Haitz III. "It is a very difficult time that requires unfortunate measures."

Nine newsroom employees were laid off and others could see their hours reduced, executive editor Mark Lett said. The names of the affected newsroom employees were not released.

"These are challenging times for newspapers, made even more difficult because we must part with newsroom professionals who have contributed outstand-ing work to this company and this community," Lett said. "Journalists affected by today's cuts have been valuable and valued members of this newsroom."

The actions are part of companywide layoffs and cost-cutting measures announced Monday by The State's parent company, The McClatchy Co.

To see the latest tally of McClatchy layoffs, click here. (Hat tip: Twitter)

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