Bloodletting at The Enquirer

Dec 3, 2008 at 2:15 pm

As expected, the ax fell quickly at The Cincinnati Enquirer this week as its parent company demands mass layoffs before year’s end.—-

Multiple sources at Cincinnati’s only daily newspaper say about a half-dozen people were informed Tuesday morning that they had been selected for the layoffs and were told to leave. Later in the day, however, top editors received either a fax or e-mail from The Gannett Co.’s corporate headquarters, telling them the number wasn’t sufficient. In the afternoon, at least two other employees were let go, sources add.

Among those who were told to leave were Business Editor Carolyn Pione, Weekend Local News Editor Elliot Grossman, Photo Editor Eileen Joyce, Assistant Editor Steve Morrison and Kathy McDermott. The total number of laid off workers isn't yet known.

As CityBeat reported Oct. 28, Gannett executives gave editors throughout the newspaper chain about two weeks to devise plans for “an involuntary staff reduction of approximately 10 percent” at each outlet. Each affected employee would receive one week of severance pay for each year of service with a cap of 26 weeks.

“As all of you are painfully aware, the fiscal crisis is deepening and the economy is getting worse,” wrote Robert J. Dickey, U.S. community publishing president, in the memo. “Gannett’s revenues continue to be severely impacted by this downturn, and our local operations are suffering. While we are doing our best to reduce all non staff-related expenses, I am sorry to report that we must do another round of layoffs across our division.

Additional coverage of Gannett’s mass layoffs can be found here.

In September The Enquirer’s management accepted voluntary buyouts for 60 staffers from various departments, including 15 from the newsroom.

More details about The Enquirer layoffs will be posted here as they emerge.