The Patriot-News will lay off about 70 employees.

The newspaper’s publisher and president John Kirkpatrick and other company leaders met face-to-face with its employees on Monday and broke the news.

The newspaper announced in August that it would cut back from a 7-day a week operation to three days. It said it would publish on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays beginning Jan. 1.

“Cuts were made in other areas related to the fact that the needs of the organization are different when you are printing three days a week, even if those papers look more like Sunday editions than daily editions,” Kirkpatrick said in an email to The Sentinel on Monday.

Kirkpatrick declined to answer specific questions about how many journalists, editors and content providers would be laid off.

He had previously said he wanted to make sure content creator positions were at the same level.

The newspaper’s website on Monday noted that more than 70 percent of employees were expected to be offered jobs and that the company planned to hire for 51 positions.

The newspaper has 230 employees, according to the Associated Press, which suggests layoffs will total about 70.

And, while Kirkpatrick wouldn’t answer questions about newsroom staffing and said so-called content producers may be the same number in January as today, other Advance Publication properties have made similar statements before laying off some content producers.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse, N.Y., which is also owned by Newhouse Newspapers, a division of Advance Publications, also said it would publish just thrice weekly.

Popular Post-Standard columnist Dick Case was among the reported 112 staffers notified of layoffs Monday. Although Case, as a columnist, technically isn’t considered a reporter, he still produced content for the paper and had been there for 54 years.

Other newspapers in the same chain have also announced layoffs and cut backs to three day a week publishing, including The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, the three largest newspapers in Alabama, and a number of Advance Publications newspapers in Michigan also dropped from being dailies.

“Our goal was to make sure in this digital world that we still had the muscle to do community news and important watch dog journalism,” said Kirkpatrick, who has called the changes bold and progressive.

Editor Cate Barron said the changes would be “challenging.”


Load comments