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Gannett to cut 1,400 jobs in new round of cuts

NEWSPAPER publisher Gannett Co. plans to cut 1,400 jobs in the next few weeks, about 3 percent of the work force, as it faces a prolonged slump in advertising revenue.

Bob Dickey, head of the company's US community publishing division, informed staff of the layoffs in a letter yesterday. He told employees that "there have been some promising signs of a recovery, but the reality is the improvements are not broad-based and the economy continues to be fragile."

The majority of layoffs will come by July 9, he said.

The move follows a 10 percent cut at Gannett in 2008, which left the company with about 41,500 employees.

Gannett publishes USA Today, the largest newspaper by circulation in the US, along with dozens of other newspapers.

Dickey's memo did not mention USA Today, which is separate from the division he heads. A spokeswoman for Gannett did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Like the rest of its industry, the McLean, Virginia-based company has seen advertising revenue wither in the face of the recession and competition from the Internet. Its publishing division reported a 34 percent drop in ad revenue in the first quarter, marking more than two straight years of declines.

Gannett has also tried saving money by requiring employees to take unpaid leave. Dickey said Wednesday there will be no more furloughs this year.

Freedom Communications Inc., publisher of The Orange Country Register and other newspapers, also announced cutbacks this week. The Irvine, California-based company said Monday it will reduce pay across the board by 5 percent, beginning July 13.


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