Of Papercuts and Buyouts

Connecticut’s newspaper industry isn’t suffering from a paper cut -- an ax has fallen and cut off a limb or two.

Another 48 newspaper people will find themselves out of the biz.  This time, it’s Hearst Corp., where 48 newspaper employees are accepting buyouts.  Hearst employs about 700 people in the state at different papers.

Employees of the Connecticut Post, News-Times of Danbury, The Advocate of Stamford, Greenwich Time and the Brooks Community Newspapers got wind of the buyouts in a letter sent Monday.

The company is trying to cut costs by 20 percent. The reduction will not come on employees’ backs alone, the Connecticut Post reports. Other cuts will come from savings in newsprint and elsewhere.

Hearst Newspaper Group Publisher Mark Aldam said buyouts are necessary because of the deepening recession and a significant deterioration in business conditions.

Most of the people accepting the voluntary buyout plan will be leaving the company within two to four weeks, he said.

Hearst also owns the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which is undergoing some major changes.  After Tuesday's edition, the P-I will now shift entirely to the web.

Ed Deak, a Fairfield University professor of economics and the author of the Connecticut economic report for the New England Economic Project, told the Connecticut Post the industry’s hard times are combination of the national economic downturn and a shift in culture that's been hectoring the newspaper industry.

"Part of it is that most people don't have time to sit down with a newspaper any more," Deak said. "And the economy is making it more difficult to buy advertising."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us