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ProJo set to move ahead with layoffs in November

October 26, 2012

Providence Journal managers have closed the door on cost-saving talks with the Providence Newspaper Guild and plan to move ahead with layoffs in the first week of November, according to Guild president John Hill.

Hill says a “very bad” October revenue report made management unwilling to offer a guarantee of no layoffs in 2013. Management plans to eliminate enough positions to cut spending by $1.2 million.

“It was a nut we couldn’t crack,” Hill says of recent talks aimed at averting layoffs.

He says ProJo managers are determining which positions in news and advertising will be eliminated. Once those decisions are announced in November, Hill says, employees will be offered the opportunity to take buyouts. Buyouts could reduce the number of layoffs, he says.

Hill says he doesn’t know how the layoffs will be divided between news and advertising. A rough estimate has indicated $1.2 million in reductions could equal about 15 positions.

The impending cuts follow a series of past reductions at the ProJo.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Debbie permalink
    October 27, 2012 8:26 pm

    Prior to Journal management telling the Guild to cease working on pay concessions — that it would be implementing layoffs instead — the Journal was a co-host of several “Publick Occurrences” events. At these events, experts participated in roundtables and panels on how to fix the state’s economy. Is it a coincidence that Journal management told the Guild, “We changed our minds — we don’t want concessions; we want layoffs” right after the final “Publick Occurrences” session? I mean, what kind of credibility would these events have had if the company co-hosting them was going to contribute to the state’s unemployment rate? I suppose it was a smart move by Journal management: leading the Guild and the public to believe it was working with its employees to avoid layoffs while co-hosting those events. I don’t buy the October advertising swoon as an excuse to break off the Guild’s pay concessions. Surely, Journal management knew it was having a bad October well before this past Friday. Clearly, both the Guild and the public were used in a cover-up game to keep the“Publick Occurrences” from being tainted.


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