Reports: Layoffs hit Patriot-News, Post-Standard in shift to fewer print days

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The Advance-owned Patriot-News laid off “about 70″ employees Monday, Stacy Brown reports for The (Carlisle, Pa.) Sentinel. Brown gets to that figure independently; Patriot-News publisher John Kirkpatrick tells him only, “Cuts were made in other areas related to the fact that the needs of the organization are different when you are printing three days a week, even if those papers look more like Sunday editions than daily editions.”

The Harrisburg, Pa. paper reports some of the people who’ve been offered jobs with the new companies that will publish three days a week starting in January:

Many reporters familiar to readers are receiving job offers. Veteran and well-known journalists such as Jan Murphy, Charles Thompson, Bob Flounders, David Jones, Matt Miller, John Luciew, Joe Hermitt, Sean Simmers, Sue Gleiter, Andrew P. Shay, Tim Leone, Ivey DeJesus, Jeanette Krebs, David Wenner, Robert Vickers, Heather Long and Pulitzer Prize winner Sara Ganim were among those offered jobs.

Editor Cate Barron and Managing Editor Mike Feeley will continue to lead the news-gathering operation. Kim Strong will continue to lead the advertising and client-solutions staff.

Layoffs hit Advance’s Post-Standard Monday, too. Laura Hand reports 112 people are being let go.

At both The Post-Standard, in Syracuse, N.Y., and The Patriot-News, new positions will bring the newsroom numbers back up, the company says. Those laid off are allowed to apply for the new gigs. Post-Standard columnist Dick Case was among the people laid off, as Jim Romenesko reported Monday.

“I think the community is changing, but so is our business” Case said to Hand. “I think this change to more of an emphasis on the dot com is inevitable.”

A quick look around the [Syracuse University] campus affirms his words, with many students walking between classes checking their phones. All we talked to told us they get their news online.

Joel Kaplan, associate dean for professional graduate studies, at Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, tried to game out Advance’s strategy for The Post-Standard to Katie Gibas:

“They’re actually still a profitable news organization and I think they could have continued on with a daily newspaper doing what they’re doing, but eventually, they were going to hit the wall and they were going to start losing money. And what I think they saw was, ‘Hey, let’s make these changes now while we’re still a profit making institution because you make those changes then a lot easier. Once you’re losing money, it’s a lot harder to makes those changes,” said Kaplan.

In August, Advance executive Steven Newhouse told me the company didn’t want to “look at addressing the circumstances as they develop and to see a downward spiral of revenue losses and cutbacks.”

Previously: Patriot-News, Post-Standard employees to find out today whether they’ll be laid off

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