Media company Gannett Co Inc (NYSE:GCI) filed a report with the New York State Department of Labor saying it is laying off 31 employees from its Lewis Road, Binghampton location in October.
The reason given by the company for the layoffs is “economic.” Employees are not represented by a union. The Lewis Road location provides accounting services to the media company’s locations across the U.S.
Five of the affected employees will be terminated during a two-week period starting on October 12, while the remaining 26 will be terminated during a two-week period starting on October 27.
Gannett has been struggling for years. Back in 2008, the company announced it cut 1,000 jobs. At the time, Gannett’s newspapers included 84 dailies, such as The Arizona Republic and the Detroit Free Press, as well as nearly 900 non-daily publications.
Of the 1,000 positions, 600 people were laid off and 400 jobs were eliminated through attrition and not filling vacant posts. The layoffs represented about three percent of the company’s workforce.
The cost-cutting effort at the country’s largest newspaper publisher was an early attempt to offset declining ad revenue and a weak economy. To cut costs, Gannett also centralized customer service, printing, and financial, as well as other functions. The company also outsources some of its operations.
In October 2016, Gannett announced it was reducing its workforce by about two percent in order to help manage costs. The company did not disclose which papers were affected or how many jobs were cut, but two percent of its total workforce accounts for around 300 people.
Most recently, in June 2017, Gannett announced it will sell the The Commercial Appeal office building in Memphis. The company said the building will go on the market in late June or early July, with the company eventually moving to a smaller building.
Newspaper staff at The Commercial Appeal has dwindled over the years. When the company first moved into its Memphis location in 1975, it employed 1,300; today, there are fewer than 200. The last round of layoffs at the The Commercial Appeal was in March, when 20 lots their jobs. The building sits on about 6.5 acres and was appraised at more than $6.5 million.
Despite the cost-cutting efforts, Gannett’s share price has been in freefall. The company went public in June 2015 at $12.50 per share. Now, two years later, Gannett is trading near $8.65 per share.
“WARN Details,” New York State Department of Labor, last accessed July 18, 2017.
“Gannett is cutting 1,000 newspaper jobs,” ABC News, last accessed July 18, 2017.
“The Commercial Appeal to sell building at 495 Union, seek new location in Memphis area,” The Commercial Appeal, June 19, 2017.