Dolans Cutting 5 Percent of Newsday Workforce; More Than Two Dozen Job Cuts Expected in Newsroom

newsday120508 Dolans Cutting 5 Percent of Newsday Workforce; More Than Two Dozen Job Cuts Expected in NewsroomThe Dolans are enacting their first big job cuts at Newsday.

In total, 5 percent of the workforce will be reduced with hits on both in the newsroom and on the business side. For editorial, the sports department, photo department and newsroom editors will be hit hardest. The position of sports columnist will be entirely eliminated, which affects three positions.

Newsroom cuts will impact travel budgets and lead to significant cuts in the freelance budget. Editor John Mancini wrote in a memo to staff, "Travel, entertainment and supply budgets have been reduced. Open positions have been eliminated and the freelance budget has been cut dramatically."

The newsstand price of Newsday will increase—how high it will go hasn’t been announced yet—starting next week.

We’re hearing from a source that the newsroom will cut more than two dozen jobs, and the number circulating around the newsroom is 27 positions. Buyouts will be offered to some.

Mr. Mancini explained, "These decisions will mean further job reductions or will require staffers to move into other job categories. Starting today, we will discuss details with the affected departments and individuals. These circumstances are always difficult. Valued friends and colleagues who did not contemplate making a change will face giving up jobs they have been devoted to for years."

Here’s his entire memo:

To: Staff

From: John Mancini

What’s Going On

The outlook for revenue requires further expense cuts in the newsroom.

Travel, entertainment and supply budgets have been reduced. Open positions have been eliminated and the freelance budget has been cut dramatically.

In addition, we will be reorganizing Photo, resulting in a significantly smaller staff. We will also eliminate the Sports Columnist category, which includes three staffers, and the research position in Albany. These decisions will mean further job reductions or will require staffers to move into other job categories.

Starting today, we will discuss details with the affected departments and individuals.

These circumstances are always difficult. Valued friends and colleagues who did not contemplate making a change will face giving up jobs they have been devoted to for years.

As always, we ask that the privacy of those who must weigh difficult choices be respected.

Thank you once again for your dedication and effort during these challenging times.

And here’s the memo from Newsday publisher Tim Knight:

Dear fellow Newsday Media Group employee,

It is well documented by now that the newspaper industry continues to experience significant upheaval. The current economic difficulties have increased the challenges for newspaper and other advertising businesses, and Newsday is no exception.

When we began our 2009 budget process, we were anticipating a tough year, and since then, the newspaper advertising market has continued to decline. With that in mind, Newsday’s executive team has undertaken a thorough review of our plans for the coming year. As a result, we concluded that we need to take some significant steps in order to weather these difficult times and meet the changing dynamics of our industry so that we can continue to grow.

As part of this process, we have had to make some extremely hard decisions about how our business will operate. Beginning next week, like many other papers, we are increasing the single copy price of our daily and Sunday Long Island editions, and both Sunday editions in the boroughs. We are also taking a number of measures to reduce our costs. This includes eliminating most of the open positions from the 2009 budget and cutting back on non-essential internal programs.

Still, unfortunately, we cannot avoid job reductions. Today we posted a notice of union job reductions in Editorial and Operations. Within the next week, there will additional job eliminations across the company. In total, we expect to reduce about 5% of our workforce.

I know the next few days and weeks will be challenging as the resulting operational restructuring takes effect, especially having friends and colleagues leave Newsday. The dedication and professionalism of Newsday employees is always valued, but especially at times like this. I will communicate additional details about our actions and how we will go forward in the coming weeks.

Tim