Monday, April 6, 2009

Layoffs beginning again around Gannett newspapers; that's why stock price is up today

Investors love it when they hear that corporations are laying off workers. That means cutting costs and increasing profits, including important quarterly dividends.

The only constant source on all things Gannett,, says Gannett's newspaper division has commenced second quarter layoffs.

It would be hard to consider where, for example, The Tennessean could cut its depleted staff and subsequently its already substantially reduced coverage of Middle Tennessee.

But the layoffs this week and Craig Moon's retirement last week are not just coincidental. I believe Moon just couldn't take any more of this crap without knowing how diminished the USA Today product would become along with its credibility.

When I worked for him at The Tennessean, Moon was regularly about giving the reader more. And he was the last sane force on the corporate operating committee.

Today, the value of the company stock rose almost 8 percent.

Former USA Today investigative reporter Jim Hopkins writes:

I'm not counting on a single, big "announcement" -- a companywide job reduction memo from Corporate, like we've seen in the past. Instead, I expect a series of memos from individual sites this week and next.

Gannett has been laying off employees, mostly in the newspaper division, since at least late last week. I believe these layoffs will continue this week, and possibly into next. By "these layoffs," I'm referring to a specific round, driven by the start of the second quarter.

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