Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Breaking news: Layoffs in Providence

Updated Thursday

Corporate notified the Providence Journal on Wednesday afternoon that an unspecified number of layoffs will happen there, according to multiple sources.

It is unclear yet whether the layoffs are limited to the Providence Journal or whether they will extend to the other A.H. Belo newspapers, the Dallas Morning News and the Press Enterprise in Riverside, Calif.

The number of layoffs in Providence, which fell short of its minimum buyout target by 13 employees, has not been released. Details on the severance package and how the process will occur may not be known until next week, according to the sources.

Corporate had told the Providence employees union that it would share the information by last Friday. The reason for the delay is unknown.

One possibility is that August, the second month of the third quarter, closed its books within the last few days. Dallas newsroom managers raised the possibility in meetings last month that the company's financial performance following the buyout announcement could affect the number of cuts it was seeking.

No official buyout numbers have come out of the Morning News in the two days after Corporate notified departing employees of their acceptance or rejection. Newsroom estimates were that the paper missed its newsroom target of roughly 40 employees. Some rumblings began early Wednesday that preparations were being made for layoffs.

Sources have previously said that Riverside had more than enough staff members opt for the buyout.

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