Friday, June 27, 2008

Another round of layoffs at the Merc

Publisher Mac Tully (right) announced the layoffs in a somber meeting of the newsroom staff: "We have had a very challenging 2008."

The newspaper, controlled by Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group, said it was laying off nine newsroom staffers and an undisclosed number of employees from other departments. The Guild reports that 17 of its members at the Merc are losing their jobs — nine people from news, six from advertising support and two from marketing. The number of non-Guild employees being laid off was not available.

According to the Guild, management was planning to notify those who would be laid off last night (Thursday). The Guild said management would consider reducing the number of layoffs if there are members who will volunteer to reduce their hours and work in a job-share arrangement. No word yet on whether anyone volunteered.

The newsroom will number about 155 after the layoffs, according to a story on the Merc's Web site.

Singleton, in a speech in Sweden on June 9, said that 19 of the top 50 U.S. newspapers are in the red. But Merc Editor Dave Butler said in Wednesday's staff meeting that the Merc is not among the money-losers. Tully said the Merc will end the fiscal year June 30 with a profit, according to former Merc business writer Matt Marshall's VentureBeat blog.


Anonymous said...

The Mercury News may not be running in the red, but lots of other Dean Singleton newspapers are. And Singleton needs Merc money to help pay off his foolhardy debt. Look for more layoffs companywide and probably a fire sale of properties in the future.

Anonymous said...

San Jose is forced to try and make a profit target like all of Singleton's papers. The bigger issue is what is left in terms of senior management. Steve Rossi is not a visionary and Mac Tully is a yes man to Rossi. In the end, the newspaper franchise is in trouble and the two men at the helm in California are ill-equipped to handle the situation. It's sad.