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More Downsizing At The Bee



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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, October 01, 2010

Staff got word of the layoffs this morning in an email memo.

"It's pretty grim, I won't sugarcoat it."

Niesha Lofing is a reporter at the paper. She's also shop steward for the Newspaper Guild labor union. Lofing still has her job…but she says the layoffs caught many off-guard.

"It was pretty much a surprise, at least to us on sort of the ground level. But it felt for a while that there might be an axe that would fall although none of us really were anticipating this."

Rick Edmonds is with the Poynter Institute…a journalism think-tank. He says The Bee's parent company - McClatchy - is still dealing with its $4.5 billion acquisition of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain several years ago.

"They have to operate at a pretty high operating profit margin just to make their interest payments and also to continue paying down the debut which is a requirement of some of their loans."

Between April and June of this year, McClatchy's ad revenues fell nearly 10% from the same-period last year.  

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