McClatchy Newspapers Lay Off Nearly 4 Percent of Staff in Cost-Cutting Move

“While these actions are necessary to protect and further our future, they are painful and difficult decisions,” says CEO Craig Forman

Last Updated: August 22, 2018 @ 6:07 AM

The McClatchy Company will cut roughly 3.5 percent of its staff, amounting to nearly 140 employees in a company-wide shakeup, it revealed Tuesday.

McClatchy publishes dozens of newspapers across the country, including The Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Idaho Statesman, The Fresno Bee and The Charlotte Observer. A spokesperson for the company declined to issue a statement, noting only that it was “a tough day.”

McClatchy president and CEO Craig Forman revealed the news to employees in an internal memo, a copy of which was obtained by TheWrap.

“While these actions are necessary to protect and further our future, they are painful and difficult decisions. Talented and passionate people who have dedicated their energy to our mission, colleagues we call friends and rely on everyday, will leave the company.” he wrote. “We thank you all for your commitment to McClatchy and to local journalism and wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors.”

Forman said that even though the company’s revenue remained “better than its peers,” the cuts were necessary in order to combat strong “industry headwinds.”

“This is not an unusual path in an ambitious transformation — the road is often filled with ups and down, and it’s seldom a straight line up,” he wrote. “While our digital revenue continues to grow, we still face significant print advertising revenue declines, and the recent newsprint tariffs don’t help.”

The McClatchy cuts are the latest in a string that legacy media operators have been forced to take in recent years.

Earlier this month, fellow publisher Tronc laid off dozens of staff from the New York Daily News over similar concerns. Employee upheavals also plagued the Los Angeles Times under Tronc before it was sold to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. Under the hedgefund-backed Digital First Media, the Denver Post newsroom has shrunk to less than 100 employees from around 250 several years ago.

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