Gannett Co. is preparing to lay off more than 1,000 employees as the largest newspaper publisher's work force continues to shrink along with its advertising sales.
Between 1,000 and 2,000 people will lose their jobs in Gannett's latest round of cutbacks, according to a story published Tuesday on The Wall Street Journal's Web site. The Journal quoted an unnamed person familiar with the McLean, Virginia-based company's thinking.
The layoffs aren't a major surprise because Gannett's main source of revenue - advertising - has been rapidly drying up. Ad sales at Gannett's newspapers plunged 34 percent during the first three months of this year and analysts doubt the company fared much better during latest quarter that just ended.
Gannett didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. The company employs about 41,500 people after jettisoning about 10 percent of its work force last year.
The upcoming purge isn't expected to hit Gannett's largest newspaper, USA Today, the Journal said. Gannett owns more than 80 other daily newspapers.
More details are expected to be released within the next few days, according to a story on The New York Times' Web site that quoted unnamed Gannett executives.
Gannett is scheduled to release its second-quarter results July 15.
Most other major newspaper publishers also are reeling from a devastating one-two punch - the longest U.S. recession since World War II coupled with intensifying Internet competition for readers and advertising. To cope, the troubled publishers have trimmed their payrolls, lowered wages and, in the most extreme cases, filed for bankruptcy protection.
Gannett tried to save jobs by forcing most of its U.S. employees to take at least two weeks of unpaid leave during the first half of this year. In other austerity measures, Gannett closed the print edition of The Tucson Citizen in Arizona and curtailed home delivery of the daily Detroit Free Press to just three days a week.
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