Layoffs hit North Jersey Media Group, again

Journalists at the North Jersey Media Group are facing yet another round of layoffs, according to a memo from the company's boss.

The memo, from North Jersey Media Group President Nancy A. Meyer, says the company is "initiating a series of staff reductions" without going into specific numbers.

The latest round of layoffs comes less than six months after a round of staff cuts that sapped more than 100 jobs from the company.

Gannett bought North Jersey Media Group, which includes the Bergen Record, the Herald News and more than 50 community weeklies, from the Borg family in July.

Richard Green, the editor of the Bergen Record, sent a follow-up email to staffers Monday afternoon reassuring them that "today’s conversations about staffing decisions are over."

"This has been a horribly difficult day for everyone, I know," Green wrote. "I appreciate your professionalism and patience as we vigorously pursue the sustainable future that our industry so desperately needs. I am confident we will get there."

Here's Meyer's full memo:

Today we are initiating a series of staff reductions which, while painful, are necessary for the long-term growth of North Jersey Media Group. It is important for you to understand this decision is a recognition of the changing needs of a new media environment, and not a reflection of the quality of our employees or their service. We are confident the new staffing levels will enable us to efficiently deliver the highest quality journalistic product to our readers and expand strongly into new digital platforms. In addition, as members of the USA Today Network, we are part of the largest news team in New Jersey, and maintain our position as the second-largest newsroom in the state.

Employees affected by these changes are being notified and, in addition to receiving appropriate severance packages, are being offered transitional assistance, as well as potential opportunities within our network family outside of this media market. We wish them well and thank them for their service to North Jersey Media Group.

For those employees who will continue with us, we want you to know this is part of a phased process to further build on our strong foundation here, as well as to respond to a rapidly evolving media industry. North Jersey Media Group is committed to producing high-quality news and information, including investigative public service journalism, finding new and evocative ways to tell great stories, and to being the digital media source that our readers and advertisers turn to first for their local news. We are infusing the newsroom and all departments with enhanced technology to bring storytelling to a different level, as well as to provide additional value to advertisers.

Now more than ever, strong journalistic institutions are critical to our community, which greatly depends on us to provide them with the news they can trust. But institutions such as ours can only exist in a financially sustainable model.

I appreciate your commitment to North Jersey Media Group, and want you to know you can rely on me to engage with you regularly and share with you honest and straightforward information on our progress and the future we are building together.

For decades, the products of the North Jersey Media Group have delivered award-winning, high-caliber work — from journalism to marketing solutions and strategies — for this region and beyond. Nothing about today’s announcement will steer us from that course. We will continue to be North Jersey’s largest news operation with a staff unparalleled in talent and focused squarely on the digital space.

Sincerely –

Nancy

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.

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