GateHouse lays off journalists at newspapers it acquired last year from Halifax Media

* Details of StarNews layoffs not disclosed (

Newspaper downsizing continues.

I’m getting multiple reports of layoffs today at GateHouse papers that were formerly owned by Halifax Media, including the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

My readers say the Sarasota paper is losing several veterans, including sportswriter John Brockmann. He’s been with the paper for 54 years.

What do you know? Email me at I’ll protect you, of course.

UPDATES from GateHouse employees (and a spouse):

We were told today that layoffs had occurred at our property. We were told that at the beginning of 2015, after Gatehouse purchased us, we were given a target revenue number. If we failed to meet that number a reduction of staff–read layoffs-would happen.

What we were not told is that Gatehouse CEO Kirk Davis was awarded on Feb. 24 a cash bonus of $400,000 plus 43,592 shares of Gatehouse stock payable on Mar. 2, one day before the layoffs.

Gatehouse stock closed today above $24 per share. Davis caught a nifty $1,046,000 stock windfall.

The Ocala Star Banner also lost their receptionist, obits desk staffer, a creative team member, and press room supervisor; the Gainesville Sun also lost a creative team member and a circulation coordinator on top of what you listed in your story.

Layoffs announced today at The Ledger in Lakeland:

Photo chief and two other photographers
Longtime sports reporter
Courts reporter
Assistant metro editor
Cops reporter
Winter Haven bureau reporter


Ledger people lose insurance at midnight tonight. [I’m told it’s the same at other papers.]

City editor, part-time newsroom assistant, copy editor and the editorial writer were let go from the StarNews in Wilmington, N.C. They also axed a vacant reporting position that was dedicated to enterprise projects and local government coverage.

Layoffs at The Sun and Star-Banner (Florida papers that were merged, except for reporting staffs, in 2008 by The New York Times):

Assistant Managing Editor – Content
Features editor
Sports copy desk staffer
Page layout staffer
Marketing coordinator
Two reporter positions to remain unfilled
One full-time, one part-time IT staff members
Two part-time news staffers

The Daytona Beach News-Journal lost 4 newsroom staffers: night metro editor, sports reporter, business reporter and photographer.

Plus, I was told seven people in advertising/ad services/marketing were let go.

Re Daytona Beach News-Journal: Entire purchasing/maintenance department axed two weeks ago as well, except for one person.


The Gainesville Sun laid off Sean McCrory. 25 years of editing experience. 15 years at the Sun.

His Loving Wife,
Cat McCrory

Re Gainesville Sun. We lost 2 editors, a photographer, a sports copy editor, a person in page pagination and an advertising staff member.

Everybody is walking on egg shells at The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Mass layoffs haven’t hit the newsroom quite yet, just one biz reporter and our night metro editor, so far. But hearing a lot of advertising and marketing staff. Please share this with readers too. Gatehouse CEO Kirk Davis made nearly $1 million last year including a $400,000 bonus.

Two designers, two photographers and a sportswriter at the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald Journal. [An earlier report that the paper’s entire copy desk was laid off is incorrect. “There are still seven copy editors/designers on news, two on sports.”]

Re: Sarasota/Gatehouse: this comes one day after E&P named Sarasota as one of its “10 Newspapers That Do It Right.”

From the story, re the Halifax/Gatehouse sale.

>>>>>With so many things up in the air, (ME Bill) Church acknowledged the past few years have been filled with anxiety. “The Herald-Tribune staff felt the unease. So did the Sarasota community,” he said.<<<<<<

* November 2014: GateHouse pays $280M for Halifax’s 36 newspapers (