Herald-Leader Cuts Include News Staff

by Gabe Bullard on May 10, 2011

Several reporters at the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper will likely lose their jobs in an upcoming round of layoffs.

Fifteen positions are being eliminated. Four of those positions are vacant and the rest are in news, advertising and operations. Publisher Tim Kelly declined to say how many of the layoffs are in the news department or how much money the cuts will save the paper.

Kelly says the Herald-Leader, like all the newspapers owned by the McClatchy Company, is profitable, and the layoffs are necessary to make up for declining advertising revenue. This is the latest round of layoffs since cuts began in 2008.

“This is a business,” he says. “We work for a publicly held corporation. This industry is in a period of incredible change as both a dual print and online product.”

Kelly says it hasn’t yet been determined who will be leaving the paper, since some employees have until Monday to respond to buyout offers.

“Some people are within the bargaining unit of the Newspaper Guild and some people are outside the bargaining unit of the Newspaper Guild. People who are in what’s called single incumbent positions may not have a choice,” says Kelly. “People who are in a group of designated employees may have the opportunity to accept—to volunteer—then the company makes the determination.”

This is the latest round of layoffs since cuts began in 2008.

The Louisville Courier-Journal, which is owned by Gannett, has recently furloughed several reporters.

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