***UPDATE (Dec. 5) With Gannett layoffs now topping 2,000, reports continue to be posted on Gannett Blog: Six jobs eliminated at USA Weekend; Hattisburg American closes its print shop; ominous silence from the troubled Detroit News.
More discussion of Gannett and the Citizen-Times can be found at this Xpress forum.
(Dec. 3, 10:15 p.m.) Ironically, former Citizen-Times Publisher Jeff Green, now employed by the Fayetteville Observer/Target Printing, has offered possible jobs to some of those laid off at the C-T, according to an Ashvegas report.
And Gannett Blog now claims the layoffs have now topped the 1,400 mark nationally.
UPDATE (Dec. 3 6 p.m.) “Gannett launched what is likely the biggest mass layoff in newspaper industry history yesterday,” reports Gannett Blog, slashing 863 jobs by early this afternoon, in an increasingly desperate bid to return the troubled 102-year-old publisher to prosperity. The final tally could run into the thousands.” More cuts are expected tomorrow. For a look at media response, especially to the trailblazing coverage by ex-Gannett staffer Jim Hopkins on his Gannett Blog, see Mountain Xpress Forum thread, Networked media chronicles Gannett’s slow motion train wreck.
UPDATE (Dec. 3 noon): Publisher Randy Hammer announced there have been 16 layoffs at the Asheville Citizen-Times, according to a post on Ashevegas.
EARLIER UPDATE: Commenters at the Gannett Blog site report that the Citizen-Times online director, a classified manager, four classified salespeople, a graphic designer, a production designer and a page layout person were notified Tuesday that their jobs were cut. The Ashvegas blog confirms the report of the online director’s job cut while offering a slightly different account of which jobs were eliminated.***
In one of the first of scores of memos expected in coming days, the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., just told employees the paper is cutting 59 jobs — about 8 percent of its workforce, according to a Gannett Blog report at http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/breaking-gannett-launches-mass-layoff.html
Hopkins posted a memo from the Rochester publisher, Ali Zoibi, who writes: “As you know from earlier communications, the Democrat and Chronicle, and all Gannett properties, have been asked to sharply reduce expenses in response to the worsening economic situation.”
Meanwhile in Asheville, Ashvegas blog is covering the situation at the Citizen-Times and getting comments from current and former C-T staffers. In a Nov. 29 report, Ashvegas wrote “Citizen-Times awaits lay-off announcement: Unconfirmed reports say newsroom is safe.”
Last month the C-T closed its printing operation, laying off 60 people; the paper is now printed in Greenville, S.C.
— Jeff Fobes, editor/publisher