January 16, 2013

The Star-Ledger | South Jersey Times
Thirty-four employees of the (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, including 18 full- and part-timers in the newsroom, will be laid off Wednesday, the paper’s Ted Sherman and Kelly Heyboer report.

Publisher Richard Vezza “blamed the dramatic cuts on continuing financial pressures and the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy, in an industry already hard hit by a steady decline in readership and sinking ad revenues.”

While other Advance newspapers have reduced staff and print frequency concurrently, Vezza tells his the reporters “I’ve been involved in no other plans to take us to three days a week.” But: “we are going to need to adjust our business as needs warrant,” he said. In a letter to employees announcing the layoffs, Vezza said the Star-Ledger is “considering the possibility of outsourcing the printing and delivery of the newspaper.”

The South Jersey Times also announced layoffs Wednesday. Other Advance papers in the Garden State will announce layoffs Wednesday, Sherman and Heyboer write.

Unlike many of Advance’s other papers that have reduced print or home delivery frequency, The Star-Ledger — though not its newsroom — is unionized. Journalists at the Cleveland Plain Dealer are unionized, and they launched a pre-emptive campaign late last year against the possibility reductions might happen there. Still, the Plain Dealer announced it would lay off 58 people in 2013, reducing Guild members in its newsroom by about a third.

After Advance imported executives from AnnArbor.com and executive Lamar Graham announced NJ.com was hiring, he told The New York Times’ David Carr “we don’t anticipate any changes with our New Jersey newspapers.”

Previously: Will the Oregonian be the next Advance paper to reduce print? | Will other Advance newspapers face cuts like Times-Picayune, Alabama papers?

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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