Gannett’s flagship publication USA Today is eliminating 45 newsroom jobs, a 9% editorial headcount cut, to offset declining revenue. USA Today is the strongest and most-read newspaper in the nation, so if this doesn’t send shivers through the spines of newspaper newsrooms, board rooms, and investors, nothing will. As at other newspapers, USA Today’s web site is reportedly doing well, but is not coming close to offsetting the loss of print revenue.
Memo From Editor Ken Paulson:
It’s unfortunate that we have to take these steps, particularly when our newspaper circulation is growing and USATODAY.com has been named the top news website in the country by the Online News Association. Unfortunately, revenue has not kept pace and we’re now facing the same cutbacks that so many other news organisations have already experienced.
The job eliminations will be done on a voluntary basis in the form of buyouts for staffers with 15 years or more of Gannett experience and less than five years of online experience. Departments will exclude certain key positions based on strategic needs in 2008. We hope to achieve all job reductions through voluntary buyouts, but job eliminations are possible if we don’t have enough applicants.