Just how bad will the ad fall-off for newspapers be? McClatchy’s Sacramento Bee can’t even predict that, so the newspaper isn’t even saying how much it wants to cut its staff. But to get the ball rolling, it has made voluntary buyout offers to 55% of its full-time employees.
“We know we need to reduce expenses – it’s unclear how much,” said Publisher and President Cheryl Dell in her own newspaper’s story about the staff cutting. The Bee had eliminated 86 jobs just two months ago and Dell said she thought that would be enough, “but with the worsening economy we just need to do more.”
McClatchy ordered companywide layoffs two months ago, including the 86 positions eliminated in Sacramento. Two weeks ago it imposed a companywide wage freeze.
Corporate HQ did not order more staff cuts. However, the Sacramento Bee is not the only McClatchy newspaper to offer buyouts this month to try to get costs in line with declining revenues. The newspaper says buyouts were also offered by sister papers in Modesto, CA; Fresno, CA; Lexington, KY; Kansas City, MO; Wichita, KS; and Ft. Worth, TX.