ProJo parent announces more layoffs for its news division in Dec.

GANNETT CO., parent of The Providence Journal and other local newspapers, on Thursday announced a round of companywide layoffs in its news division on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2. / PBN FILE PHOTO

PROVIDENCE – Gannett Co., parent of The Providence Journal and other local newspapers, announced a new round of companywide layoffs in its news division Thursday. 

In a letter from the news division’s new interim head, Henry Faure Walker, those who will be laid off will be informed on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2. 

The number of those who will be let go was not specified. However, Gannett Communications Chief Lark-Marie Anton told the company was targeting a 6% reduction, about 200 of its 3,400 newsroom employees. 

“While we have taken several steps already, we must enter the new year in a stronger economic position, and the reality is that our news [division] cost base is currently too high for the revenues it generates,” Faure Walker said in his letter to employees. 

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In its report, said some employees represented by the NewsGuild and in the middle of contract negotiations are exempt from the layoffs.

Lisa Stratton, vice president for New England news for Gannett, and Providence Newspaper Guild Administrator Norm Welsh could not be immediately reached for comment Friday. 

On Aug 12, Gannett laid off more than 400 employees at several locations after reporting a $53.7 million loss in the second quarter. Gannett reported a loss of $54.1 million in the third quarter of 2022 earlier this month. The company expects a total net loss of $60 million to $70 million this year, according to USA Today. 

Gannett announced companywide cost-cutting measures on Oct. 13, which included five mandatory unpaid furlough days between Dec. 19-30, suspension of the company’s 401(k) match, voluntary severance package offers and an optional four-day workweek. 

The company owns and operates several papers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including The Providence Journal, The Taunton Gazette, The Newport Daily News, The Cape Cod Times, The Herald News in Fall River, The Worcester Telegram, and The Standard-Times in New Bedford. Gannett also owns publications in nearly every state in the nation, as well as operations in the United Kingdom. 

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