by Jim Nintzel
More bad news in the local newspaper biz: Layoffs are coming to the Gannett-owned Tucson Citizen.
Here's a letter that came today from Robert Dickey, the president of Gannett's U.S. Community Publishing arm.
To: USCP Publishers & General Managers
As all of you are painfully aware, the fiscal crisis is deepening and the economy is getting worse. Gannett’s revenues continue to be severely impacted by this downturn, and our local operations are suffering. While we are doing our best to reduce all non staff-related expenses, I am sorry to report that we must do another round of layoffs across our division.
To that end, we will institute an involuntary staff reduction of approximately 10% by the first week of December. The terms of the severance will be one week for each year of service with a cap of 26 weeks.
Each Publisher is responsible for developing their local plan to achieve the expected goal. Decisions will be made locally because each of our markets is unique, with differing market conditions and individual needs in light of our previous reductions.
I have asked that all plans be completed by November 14th at which time they will go through the standard review process.
I fully understand this announcement will cause you concern but I felt that once a decision was made it should be communicated as quickly as possible.
While this is more bad news, it is a sign of Gannett’s determination to remain healthy and viable as a company during these turbulent economic times. We continue to be a leader in our industry, not only because of our fiscal strength but also because we have a plan to aggressively grow the company when the economy returns.
To that end, I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts and ideas. We need to grow revenue as well as continue to find efficiencies. I would appreciate your help and ideas on both fronts.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise you will be heard and receive a timely response.
I appreciate your understanding and commitment during these challenging times.