Friday, December 5, 2008

Bakersfield Californian, Santa Barbara News-Press announce layoffs

The Bakersfield Californian will layoff 25 staffers as it tries to balance its budget amid shrinking advertising revenue and an unstable economy, the newspaper announced Wednesday.

Also Wednesday, the Santa Barbara News-Press announced it is laying off 17 positions.

The Bakersfield newspaper’s president and chief executive, Richard Beene, wrote in a memo to employees that the layoffs were a painful last resort.

“Over the past year, we have tried to avoid this day by sharply curtailing expenses, cutting travel, freezing dozens of jobs and holding other positions open for 90 or more days before filling them,” he wrote.

Beene said the global recession is affecting a variety of businesses, not just the newspaper industry. His memo noted that the layoffs were prompted by the “steepest and sharpest dropoff” in advertising revenue in the history of the newspaper.

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