Sunday, December 21, 2008

Layoffs at Citizen

Even though the Tucson Citizen is hardly a dominant media force these days, its parent company, Gannett Co. Inc., with 84 other newspapers, is the nation’s largest publisher of daily newspapers, which is not exactly a growing business in these economic times.

So when Gannett lays off 10 percent of its workforce in a single week - around 2,000 people - it’s probably accurate to say it’s the single biggest layoff in newspaper history.

In a Dec. 4 e-mail to staffers Jennifer Boice, interim editor of the Citizen, said in the newsroom, two people were laid off, another took a severance package, others had their hours trimmed involuntarily and some unfilled vacancies will remain that way.

Additionally, she said, all newsroom employees will have their salaries frozen for one year.

She didn’t identify the names of those who are gone but others said it included Dina Doolen, editor of the TastePlus section, and Blake Morlock, political reporter. Doolen was the employee who took the severance.

Outside the newsroom, Tucson Newspapers laid off fewer than 10 employees but did not institute the wage freeze. Tucson Newspapers is the agency, jointly owned with the Lee Enterprises’ Arizona Daily Star, that sells advertising, produces and distributes the two newspapers.

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