Houston Chronicle Lays Off 5 Percent Of Staff; Spokane-Review Also Issues Job Cuts
The Houston Chronicle will cut its workforce by 5 percent, as the paper blamed falling ad revenues and the need to shift resources to digital efforts, according to a memo attributed to Publisher Jack Sweeney that was posted on Jim Romenesko’s Poynter Online. The stage was set for the reorg, Sweeney said, due to a five-year downturn in financial performance. The paper’s budget projections for next year show with another drop in revenue. Sweeney’s memo said the job cuts would begin next week. The Texas paper will lose about 70 of its 1,400 staff positions, Reuters reported. -- E&P: In addition to the Chronicle’s bad news, Washington State’s Spokesman-Review daily newspaper plans to lay off about 30 employees. Early retirement offers are expected to eliminate 10 other positions. Steven A. Smith, the paper’s editor, said he was ordered to cut more than $1 million from a newsroom budget of more than $9 million. Again, declining ad revenues were the stated cause. ”Our best advertisers must compete against a huge number of stores and websites that do not advertise much if at all,” Publisher W. Stacey Cowles said in a statement. More details of the downsizing are offered, including video, on the paper’s blog.