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Job cuts in Yakima

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BigSleeper, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. BigSleeper

    BigSleeper Active Member

    I know it's not a big paper, but I've always respected the job the YHR has done, especially in sports. This could be the first in a series of tough moves for the Seattle Times Co.

    * * *

    The Associated Press

    YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Yakima Herald-Republic announced a handful of job cuts Thursday, as well as other steps intended to reduce expenses.

    Managers announced the layoffs to staff members in an internal memo and during meetings at the daily newspaper in central Washington. The job cuts amount to less than 3 percent of the newspaper's total staff of 196 people.

    The Yakima Herald-Republic is owned by The Seattle Times Co. The newspaper has a daily circulation of 36,392, with a Sunday circulation of 37,684.

    The changes come as the newspaper, like other newspapers, adjusts to major shifts in news consumption and advertising spending on the Internet.

    "This is a tweaking to match our staffing with our revenue, to match our expenses with our revenue," Publisher Michael Shepard said. "Layoffs are never easy, but we're talking about a small percentage of our work force and other changes to keep us competitive."

    Through the first 11 months of 2007, traditional advertising and circulation revenues combined were more than $400,000 below 2006 levels and more than $900,000 below budget. At the same time, total expenses were up more than 13 percent, the memo said.

    The newspaper said it would close its bureau in Sunnyside, about 35 miles southeast of Yakima, and transfer news staff there to Yakima. Other steps planned include a smaller page size for the newspaper, the elimination of a special section that was distributed to subscribers in the lower Yakima Valley, and a format change for the newspaper's Spanish-language product, El Sol de Yakima.
     
  2. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    jesus. weren't they like a 48k paper just a couple years ago?
     
  3. BigSleeper

    BigSleeper Active Member

    I don't recall them ever being that big. But they've always been good for their size.
     
  4. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Yet another paper in the Northwest laying workers off. I guess my dream of moving home will be tough to realize unless I want to work at a tiny paper.
     
  5. I used to deliver that paper when I was a kid in the late 80s and it was around 37k or 38k at that time, if memory serves. And I agree with BigSleeper: I've always respected the work they've done, and still pick it up whenever I'm in town visiting friends. Their football preview section from a year or two ago was a good example of the great work a paper this size can do. Hopefully the cuts won't affect them too badly.
     
  6. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    This sucks, I hope that none of the guys that have been helping me with the CBA got the axe. They were all helpful and really nice guys.
     
  7. BigSleeper

    BigSleeper Active Member

    Here's the YHR story:

    http://www.yakimaherald.com/page/dis/290677732211020

     
  8. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    yo fletch, please don't interpret what i said as a slam. i do think they were much larger, period ... and yes, they've always done a good job.
     
  9. Sorry Tom. Don't interpret me as interpreting you as slamming them. I didn't mean it that way at all. I was just saying that when I delivered that paper I remember it being just below 40k. Maybe it did grow a bit sometime in the last 20 years; I'm not sure. I was just offering a historical reference. What they're at now isn't far off from what I remember.
     
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    First of all, I'd like to hear publisher Shepard's, and his family's, reactions if they got similarly "tweaked" a week after Christmas.

    Second, that paragraph with all the supposed justification seems like good ol' fun-with-numbers. The budgeted (i.e., expected) revenues were a half-million dollars more than what they took in for 2006? And they missed that number by $900,000? Let's hope that the layoffs focused primarily on accountants, circulation managers and advertising folks, all for failing to do their jobs well.

    Interesting, too, how they shift from dollar figures to percentages, without ever really providing context, as in: How much money did the paper make, and why wasn't that enough to avoid layoffs?

    We continue to suffer for the suits' sins.
     
  11. funky_mountain

    funky_mountain Active Member

    here's another good one in corporate-speak: the publisher calls the cutbacks "right-sizing."

    http://www.yakimaherald.com/page/dis/324232716925513
     
  12. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Don't interpret this as me throwing up a little bit in my mouth. :eek:
     
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