Joe Heller, the editorial cartoonist at Gannett’s Green Bay Press-Gazette since 1985, has been laid off. “Wisconsin now has no staff editorial cartoonists left,” it’s noted on Twitter. Press-Gazette readers asking on Facebook about Heller’s departure get a cold “the Press-Gazette does not comment on personnel matters” reply. That’s a nice send-off for a 28-year local newspaper legend.
Here are the layoff reports I’m getting from Gannett papers:
* Lansing State Journal — The executive editor has been laid off in “a restructuring of the top roles in our news department.”
* Burlington (VT) Free Press — At least five newsroom employees were cut, reports 7 Days. Two were just hired last month.
* Arizona Republic — “A pretty substantial round of layoffs.” A 55-year-old staffer says she cleaned out her desk as soon as she heard about this morning’s meeting, figuring – correctly – she’d be laid off.
* Kentucky Enquirer, an edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
* “Gannett papers in Mississippi in the middle of layoffs today. Friend at the Hattiesburg American canned along with others.”
* Indianapolis Star.
* “Just heard that some layoffs happened at Florida Today today.”
* “Gannett supposedly cut a dozen people at the Asbury Park Press this morning, and has scheduled meetings with staff at the Courier News and Home News Tribune (based in Somerville, NJ) at 2 p.m. today.”
* Springfield News-Leader. One of those laid off writes: “I worked at this paper for a little more than a year and it was my first job out of college. I’m feeling a little naive right now, because I honestly thought knowing the coding/development side as well as being a trained journalist would keep me employed. I was wrong.”
UPDATE: Gannett Blog counts over 100 layoffs.
(Let me know what’s going on at your Gannett paper.)
Here’s what I asked Gannett PR: “I’m getting reports of layoffs at Gannett papers across the country. Could you let me know how many positions are being cut this week and at how many publications?”
Here’s the full response from Jeremy Gaines: “Some USCP [U.S. Community Publishing] sites are making cuts to align their business plans with local market conditions.”