Just when it seems no further downsizing is possible, the Digital First Media newspaper chain greeted employees in the first weeks of 2017 with more layoffs, elimination of positions and continued outsourcing of jobs.
At six DFM newspapers (including four NewsGuild-represented papers) in the Philadelphia area, 15 positions have been eliminated. A total of four jobs will be lost at the Guild papers, including a prepress position at Delaware County Times, a graphic arts post at the Trentonian, plus one clerk and a classified sales representative.
In St. Paul, the Pioneer Press on Friday laid off three part-time Guild members and plans to eliminate another Guild position. After a recent voluntary buyout offer that many considered less than enticing, the company received and accepted one part-time volunteer.
A NewsGuild representative said at least 15 positions have been eliminated at the paper since late November, and outsourcing of jobs is expected sometime in February.
The Guild’s two Detroit-area papers also suffered layoffs in recent months. The papers lost nine people, including the entire classified call center and the last remaining copy editing and design staff. The employees’ final day of work was Sept. 9.
At the Denver Post, where workers and readers are still reeling from layoffs last year, staff say management is planning to reduce office space by locating the newsroom and advertising sales in the same room. Meanwhile, outsourcing of field circulation and finance jobs continues — management recently gave 60 days’ notice that another five finance employees’ jobs will be outsourced, adding to the 20 workers displaced since Denver’s contract went into effect last August.