ProJo parent cuts staff after $54M Q2 loss

GANNETT CO., PARENT company of The Providence Journal and several other local newspapers, commenced a round of layoffs Aug. 12, a week after the company reported a $53.7 million loss in the second quarter, multiple news outlets reported. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ARTISTIC IMAGES

PROVIDENCE – Gannett Co., parent of The Providence Journal and other local newspapers, commenced layoffs at several publications Aug. 12, a week after the company reported a $53.7 million loss in the second quarter, according to news reports. reported Gannett Media President Maribel Perez Wadsworth told staff in an email when the loss was announced that the company would make “necessary but painful reductions to staffing” and eliminate some open positions. 

Providence Newspaper Guild Administrator Norm Welsh told Providence Business News Monday he was unaware of any layoffs of guild members at The Providence Journal or at Gannett’s other local papers in Brockton, Providence, Worcester, Quincy and Fall River. He said the company has not responded to his requests for information on any layoffs that have happened or are planned in the region. 

Gannett spokesperson Lark-Marie Anton declined to tell how many employees were laid off, which departments and/or newsrooms they worked in, and whether Gannett had any additional rounds of cuts planned. 

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“We’ve been transparent about the need to evolve our operations and cost structure in line with our growth strategy, while also needing to take swift action given the challenging economic environment,” Anton wrote in an emailed statement to “These staffing reductions are incredibly difficult, and we are grateful for the contributions of our departing colleagues.” 

Jon Schleuss, president of the NewsGuild, which represents more than 1,500 Gannett journalists across roughly 50 newsrooms, told Aug 12 the union had tracked 35 layoffs across 20 newsrooms. Two of them were from unionized papers. reported journalists at the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald, (South Texas) Caller-Times, Columbia (Missouri) Daily Tribune, Ventura County Star, St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times, Monroe (Louisiana) News-Star, Billerica (Massachusetts) Minuteman, (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel, Panama City (Florida) News-Herald, the (Kentucky) Courier Journal as well as Gadsden Times, Tuscaloosa News, Montgomery Advertiser (all in Alabama) reported layoffs at their publications. It is unclear if any staff at USA Today, the company’s flagship newspaper, were laid off. 

Lisa Stratton, vice president for New England news for Gannett, could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday. 

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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