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More cuts in Raleigh

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by lone star scribe, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC, one of the McClatchy papers, announced Monday that 10 more positions were being cut, including one in the newsroom (sports). Surprisingly, there has been no word from other McClatchy properties about layoffs.

    Here's the link:

  2. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    any idea who the sports guy was? hate to see more of this from my hometown paper...
  3. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    From the blog it sounds like the aggressive cutting has had its desired effect, reducing expenses and creating a decent profit.

    So, the culprit then becomes lower ad revenues. Keeping in mind how successful the previous expense cuts have been, it seems the only tactic at this point would be to RAISE revenues. What I don't get is how cutting more employees will produce higher revenues? Can someone please explain that to me: layoffs = higher ad revenues??
  4. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    The advertising landscape will improve soon, but that does not translate into a completely rosy scenario for newspapers. That's because there's a dirty little secret that was obscured by the current economic meltdown as well as the post-9/11 recession.

    A lot of advertisers have left the print industry and won't be coming back. Department stores and auto dealers are the most common examples we talk about because we all noticed when full-page ads started disappearing from our papers en masse.

    But the Internet was already cannibalizing classified advertising early in the decade -- first with Monster.com, then CraigsList, etc. Now, Cars.com and the like are more valuable tools to advertisers than print advertising. While it's true that Cars.com and CareerBuilder are owned by newspaper chains, they generate a lot less revenue. A car dealership that used to spend $400K in print gets more bang for its buck with a $75K Cars.com contract.

    Private-party classifieds are also toast. The only primary classified silo that remains somewhat stable for papers is real estate, and the Realtors will eventually do a better job of figuring out how to cut out the middle man.

    A lot of the ad gain when the economy bounces back a little more is going to come from retailers who pulled their twice-weekly 2x4s and 2x8s. Nothing wrong with that from the newspaper's point of view since money is money.

    But there are going to be staffing issues. We tend to be newsroom-centric on this board as we shake our heads in disbelief over the layoffs of the last two years. But it's undeniable that the advertising, finance and production departments were taking heavy staffing hits long before the crisis reached newsrooms, and they still get dinged proportionally in current rounds of layoffs. The snipers picked off a lot more ad and production friends than they did reporters and editors at my old shop the last five years.

    Production and billing work will quickly put a strain on too-thinly-staffed newspapers because building these postcard-sized ads is more time-consuming than downloading print-ready, full-page EPSs from ad agencies.

    And you can mark my words that publishers will be very slow to hire. They've become spoiled by the money they've saved by shedding payroll and will be demanding that managers find ways to work smarter, not harder.

    Ain't going to happen, at least to the degree they'll be demanding. Profit and loss statements will improve. Quality of life for the working stiffs won't.
  5. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Outdoors writer.
  6. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    While I haven't heard of any more layoffs, another McClatchy shop -- Myrtle Beach -- announced furloughs on Monday.
  7. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    McC projections are falling way short of already projected low goals -- hence this most recent round of cuts. Raleigh is one of what appears to be at least three papers in the chain who announced cuts (at least to staffers) this week.
    From what I understand, the "new and improved" way to cut staff is to do it a little at a time so as to slow the PR hit they took when they dumped 1,000s of people at one time.
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