October 30, 2015

Billy Penn | Philadelphia Business Journal | Philly.com

Three major publications in Philadelphia Media Network — The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com — will soon merge, resulting in newsroom layoffs, Alison Burdo reported for the Philadelphia Business Journal Friday.

The cuts, which Burdo reports will take place before January, “will reportedly save the parent company millions of dollars.” As it has in most markets, print ads continues to slide in Philadelphia, with the company down $90 million in advertising revenue in the last four years.

The news comes less than two months after Terry Egger, the former publisher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, was named publisher of the Philadelphia Media Network. In an interview shortly after his appointment, Egger alluded to the possibility of cuts, saying the company would likely have to “make adjustments” to bolster its bottom line.

The impending layoffs were discussed in a staff meeting Friday, where Egger discussed “plans to move toward a more unified newsroom” that will continue to maintain The Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com, according to an announcement from the company:

We touched upon the need to reduce expenses, which unfortunately will mean some lost jobs. We are not unique to this economic reality, as evidenced by similar moves in recent weeks by media companies ranging from ESPN, Twitter and multiple newspaper companies.

The mergers of Philadelphia Media Network’s publications come amid a time of consolidation in media, as many companies seek to eliminate redundancies and centralize production. Philadelphia City Paper was closed last month by its parent company, Broad Street Me­dia LLC, which also owns Philly Weekly.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to the Philadelphia Media Network as the “Philadelphia Media Group.”

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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…
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