Friday, January 30, 2009

Local publisher makes layoffs, plans changes for newspapers

Brown Publishing Co., one of the largest independent family-owned newspaper publishers in Ohio, has announced a number of changes at several local newspapers in an effort to adjust to fewer advertising dollars in a tougher economic climate.

Nationally, advertising dollars declined in 2008, according to the National Newspaper Association. Advertising expenditures sank nearly 20 percent in the third quarter of 2008, following a 16 percent drop and a 14 percent drop in the second a first quarters respectively, the association said.

Brown’s Times Community Newspapers, I-75 group, which includes the Troy Daily News, Piqua Daily Call and Sidney Daily News, and the Greene County Dailies, which includes the Fairborn Daily Herald and Gazette News-Current have been tightening their belts in response to a double-digit drop in advertising dollars throughout the past six months, said Frank Beeson, publisher of the I-75 group and group publisher of The Greater Miami Valley Newspapers.

The local newspapers have made layoffs, though Beeson would not say how many people had lost their jobs throughout the group. He said he could not speak on behalf of all Brown’s papers. Since the layoffs were made, however, the papers have made other cuts, such as requiring time off from employees, cutting home delivery and slicing the number of days editions are printed.

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