Providence Journal’s top editor among Gannett layoffs

THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL Executive Editor David Ng is among the layoffs parent company Gannett began on Dec. 1-2.

PROVIDENCE – The Providence Journal’s top editor, David Ng, is losing his job as parent company Gannett Co. goes through a fresh round of nationwide job cuts, a company spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.

In an email to Providence Business News, Lark-Marie Anton confirmed Ng, the Journal’s executive editor, is part of the latest round of cuts as the chain targets a 6% reduction of its news staff.

It is not clear who will be named the top editor for the state’s largest daily news publication. In July Michael McDermott, who had previously been the Journal’s managing editor and was serving as the Rhode Island Press Association’s board vice president, was appointed executive editor of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, Mass. – also owned by Gannett.

About a month later, the Journal named two new managing editors. Whitman Littlefield was named the paper’s managing editor of digital and Eryn Dion became the Journal’s managing editor of content.

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Ahead of the Dec. 1 layoffs, two longtime Journal reporters and a photographer accepted buyouts.

David Ng

It is unclear if any other Journal employees besides Ng have been laid off. Newspaper Guild Administrator Norm Welsh on Monday said he could not confirm whether there had been any layoffs at the paper. 

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. 

On Nov. 18, Gannett announced that a new round of staff reductions would be coming in December, in a letter from its news division’s new interim head, Henry Faure Walker.

The number of job cuts was not specified. However, Anton told The Poynter Institute for Media Studies Inc. the company was targeting a 6% reduction, about 200 of its 3,400 newsroom employees. 

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. 

Ng succeeded Alan Rosenberg as executive editor of the Journal on Jan. 28, 2021. Rosenberg worked at the paper for 43 years and served as executive editor from May 2017 through December 2020, stepping down after receiving an early retirement offer.

Ng previously was executive editor of the New York Daily News from 2006 to 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile, as well as senior news editor at Newsday Media Group from March 2010-2014. He most recently served as editor at ALM Media LLC.

(Providence Business News Special Projects Editor James Bessette contributed to this report.)

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