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More News Layoffs

BY Admin  June 19, 2001 at 12:00 PM EDT

Publishing giant Knight Ridder said yesterday it would cut as many as 1,700 jobs from its 32 daily newspapers, bringing this year’s workforce reduction to nearly 10 percent.

Spokeswoman Lee Ann Schlatter told the Associated Press the cuts will come in the form of buyouts and layoffs at “almost all of our newspapers,” but said details for each paper were not yet available.

“We will clearly be leaner,” President and CEO Tony Ridder said in the layoff announcement, “but still, I want to stress, adequately staffed.”

The company, whose flagship papers include The Philadelphia Inquirer, The San Jose Mercury News and The Miami Herald, said revenue is down 5.3 percent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, managers at the Times Co., which publishes The New York Times and The Boston Globe, said they will cut about 1,200 jobs company-wide.

In all, 8 to 9 percent of the company’s 14,000 workers will lose their jobs. The company said it hopes the cuts will save up to $40 million.

“The actions we have taken have served to improve our bottom line without compromising our long-term strategy,” Russell Lewis, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Officials at the Globe said Monday 193 employees accepted voluntary buyout offers — a number sufficient, said Globe publisher Richard H. Gilman “to put aside the possibility of layoffs.”

Besides the Times and the Globe, the Times Co. owns 15 newspapers, eight network TV stations, two radio stations and 40 Web sites.

Cuts at Tribune

Last week, the Tribune Co., publisher of The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and Newsday, announced it would cut 1,400 of its 25,800 jobs.

The company said June 14 it hoped to reduce staff by 3 percent through voluntary buyouts and another 3 percent through layoffs.

Tribune Co. President and CEO John W. Madigan told employees the company “acted aggressively” to cut costs in the face of an economic slowdown, but said “despite these actions, it’s clear we must do more.”

Chicago Tribune President and Publisher Scott C. Smith said the paper isn’t planning significant layoffs at the moment, but will remain flexible.

The company, which owns 11 daily newspapers and 22 TV stations, said year-to-date revenues had dropped 6 percent, from $2.3 billion to $2.1 billion.