The latest round of layoffs includes about 130 staffers in the TV group and 75 at various newspapers. The company says this is not related to the recently announced management reorganization, but rather business conditions.
Media General’s largest operation is in Tampa, FL, where it operates WFLA-TV (NBC), The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com, so the layoffs there got lots of local media attention. A total of 65 staffers were laid off across that operation.
Media General already laid off staffers last year and announced suspension of its dividend as it reported revenue declines for Q4 – and no sign yet of any improvement. Staffers have also been told to take mandatory furloughs of one unpaid day each month.
Monday brought yet another round of layoffs.
“Media General continues to face unprecedented economic challenges during this prolonged recession. We continue to experience weak spending, order cancellations and significant non-returning business by our advertisers. In order to continue our efforts to adapt our operations to changing customers, we have reduced our employee total by approximately 130 positions at nearly all of our television stations, and by 75 employees at several newspapers, effective March 30, 2009. Full-time employees have been offered severance packages. Our decision to part with these valued employees was difficult, and we very much appreciate their contributions,” Liz Cleal, Manager, Employee Communications, told RBR/TVBR.
“This reduction is not related to last week’s announcement of Media General shifting to a market-focused business structure on July 1, but entirely due to our current business outlook,” she added.