Magazine article Editor & Publisher

After Buyouts, 'Orange County Register' Now Says It Must Try Layoffs

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

After Buyouts, 'Orange County Register' Now Says It Must Try Layoffs

Article excerpt

The Orange County (Ca.) Register is about to begin a round of layoffs -- after last year's buyouts and expense cuts did not do the cost-saving trick.

The information emerged in a memo to staffers from the paper's editor Ken Brusic.

"Unlike the voluntary severance we went through last year, people this time are being asked to leave," he revealed. He said they would all know about it -- and be out of the building -- by next Thursday: "I ask that you be respectful of the individuals involved. The compiling of lists, the emailing of names or idle speculation and gossiping will not be helpful to them or those of us who need to continue to build and grow our future with fewer people." The memo was first posted at the Romenesko site at www.poynter.org.

The memo follows.*

Most of you heard during town halls last week that revenue problems continue to plague our company and our industry. We learned, for example, that revenue was 14 percent behind last year and profit was 38 percent behind. And last year's financial results were behind the year before.

You also heard that one necessary solution was to cut expenses, including the elimination of positions, people and other non-payroll costs.

None of this is easy. But the truth is, as we see revenue continue to fall, especially in print, our company needs to take strong action to regain some balance.

So today we began a series of actions in the content center that include layoffs. Unlike the voluntary severance we went through last year, people this time are being asked to leave.

The deputy editors and I have made every effort to minimize the effect on people. We are cutting space, eliminating open positions, reducing freelance, dropping some wire services and saving money any way we can. Still, some people will need to leave.

The process is difficult and painful -- especially for those most directly involved. …

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