The daily newspaper flagship of Journal Communications, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, announced a 6.2% workforce reduction. The job losses include both voluntary and involuntary separations.
Of the 92 positions eliminated, the company said 37 were voluntary buy-out offers accepted by people in the Journal Sentinel newsroom. Most of the employees affected are expected to leave the company this month.
“The advertising recession continues to affect our business. While these changes are difficult, we must be diligent about reducing our expense platform in order to preserve the overall strength of the Journal Sentinel through and beyond this challenging time. Today we also need to say thank-you to a number of Journal Sentinel colleagues for many years of exceptional service,” said Journal Communications CEO Steven Smith.
“We will continue to maintain our high quality local news focus and keep our audience penetration high,” said Betsy Brenner, President and Publisher of Journal Sentinel. “We will align our costs to a smaller revenue base while delivering a newspaper and other products that are attractive to our readers and advertisers. We will be responsive to the evolving mix of print and digital products our customers are looking for. Through it all, we remain committed to being the leading news gathering organization in Southeastern Wisconsin,” she added.
Journal Communications said it anticipates gross workforce reduction charges of $4-5.5 million during the second half of the year, primarily through the voluntary and involuntary workforce reductions at the Journal Sentinel during the third quarter as well as reductions in workforce at both the printing services and direct marketing businesses. The company said these actions and other cost reduction initiatives are anticipated to generate annualized savings of approximately $21 million across Journal Communications companies.