Gannett is examining the possibility of making cuts across its company — and that includes possible layoffs at The Tennessean and several other papers around Tennessee.
The Nashville Scene reported on the pending cuts.
Maribel Wadsworth, president of USA TODAY Network and publisher of USA TODAY, told employees during a company-wide conference call Tuesday that digital revenue is not replacing decreasing print revenues, and some budget tightening will be coming in the new year.
“Going forward, we will be a smaller company,” she said, noting that monetization has not been strong on mobile devices and that Gannett properties need to “deepen engagement” with mobile readers.
The Memphis Flyer said it is hard to determine whether The Commercial Appeal in Memphis can stand more reductions in force.
In November, a company-wide buyout offer targeted employees over 55 with more than 15-years experience. The deadline to take Gannett’s offer of 30-35-weeks pay, and a possible bonus of up to $5,520 is Dec. 10, the Flyer said.
Wadsworth told employees that the company cannot continue many of the products it produces, putting focus on non-daily print publications, according to the Scene. In Middle Tennessee, Gannett publishes weekly or twice-weekly content in Dickson, Robertson, Sumner and Williamson counties. Nationwide, she said, the company has reduced the amount of underperforming content.
“There is no plan for a mass layoff before Christmas,” Tennessean staffers were told.
When asked about the company’s offering of early-retirement packages and whether it is possible for someone who has turned down the early-retirement package to be let go in the future, Wadsworth said that it was a possibility.
Gannett CEO Bob Dickey announced he will retire by May, the Scene said.
Headhunting firm Egon Zehnder was picked by the Gannett board to search for a successor to Dickey, the New York Post said. He instituted the USA TODAY Network as a way to integrate its flagship paper more closely into the other 109 papers owned by the nation’s largest newspaper chain.
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