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Wednesday, May 06, 2015
GoLocalProv Business Team
Included in the departures are Marketing Director Averil Capers, cartoonist Dave Hitch, and Chris Sinacola. In addition, another seven have been laid off including sales and all web services. Hitch may be filling in for a short-term.
The cuts are just the latest by the newspaper’s most recent owner GateHouse Media. This is the fourth ownership group in two years for Worcester’s only daily newspaper.
In addition, more cuts maybe come this week as copy editing is expected to be moved to Texas.
Putting Cuts in Perspective
“This second newsroom layoff in less than 12 months is truly unfortunate. By my count, the T&G newsroom has been cut by roughly 30 percent since Boston Globe owner John Henry decided last June to forsake the idea of local ownership for this institution,” said former Telegram Online Director Mark Henderson.
“Worcester deserves better than to have half the number of local journalists it had six years ago. Worcester is a vital, vibrant city, and the actions of the owners of the T&G appear out of sync with that reality,” said Henderson, who has been working to launch a print and digital competitor – the Worcester Sun.
Today’s cuts are expected to be followed by even more this week. Copy editing functions are expected to be eliminated and consolidated in Austin, Texas – GateHouse’s centralized facility.
The old building location of the Telegram was left to taxpayers and a non-profit to clean contamination and rehab
The staff reductions are far greater than a worst case scenario outlined in a consultants report leaked to GoLocal last summer. The Telegram’s newsroom had 84 employees on June 1, 2014. It is now estimated to be just 59 today — less than half of the staffing level of 125 in late 2009.
In just two years the newspaper has been sold by the New York Times company to John Henry is a package with the Boston Globe. Then, the paper was sold by the Globe to Halifax, and then flipped again to GateHouse.
As GoLocal reported in May of 2014, the Telegram has had tremendous loss of revenue in the past few years:
GoLocalWorcester.com has received copy of key deal documents relating to the marketing and sale of the Telegram and Gazette. These documents outline a newspaper that has shrunk to a fraction of its former size and show that its digital strategy has been stagnant for years. Moreover, the documents outline a strategy that recommends as many as 20 to 30 newsroom cuts.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, the consulting firm hired to market the Telegram — who proclaim they are the leading merger and acquisition firm in the U.S. newspaper industry — unveiled a Telegram and Gazette that has lost more than 50% of its circulation.
The documents secured by GoLocalWorcester also disclosed that the Telegram and Gazette has lost more than 25% of its total revenue over the last three reported years.
From contamination to a sale, and injunction to layoffs, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has been through quite an interesting run in a very short time. Since 2012, GoLocal has been chronicling the goings on of Worcester’s only daily printed newspaper. Take a look at our coverage:
April 6, 2012
T&G Massive Layoff: A Harsh Reality For Ex-Employees
June 22, 2012
NY Times Corp Leaves Taxpayer on the Hook for Contamination in Worcester
The New York Times Company has sold a contaminated Worcester Telegram and Gazette building to a local development agency, leaving taxpayers on the hook for potentially up to $1.1 million in cleanup costs.
Before the sale, Telegram and Gazette publisher Bruce Gaultney publicly promised that the building was “not a brownfield.”
June 27, 2012
NY Times Company Agrees to Pay for Cleanup
July 2, 2012
T&G Building Contamination Has Unions Concerned
July 10, 2012
NY Times Co Only Commits to 10% of Cleanup Cost
July 11, 2013
Taxpayers Demand Accountability for T&G Cleanup
July 13, 2012
Officials Call for NY Times to Clean Up T&G Contamination
July 24, 2012
Worcester Telegram, Boston Globe Facing Layoffs
February 7, 2013
Murray Says T&G May Have to Pay Up for Building Contamination
February 20, 2013
Worcester Telegram, Boston Globe Up For Sale
August 3, 2013
Boston Globe and Telegram Sold – Lose 94% of Value
August 5, 2013
August 18, 2013
Starkman: For the Telegram & Gazette, a Moment of Opportunity
October 23, 2013
John Henry Faces T&G Labor Dispute And Globe Toxic Waste
October 24, 2013
Injunction Blocking Globe Sale Lifted
- Worcester Telegram’s New Website is the Old Fall River Herald Website; Readers React
- BREAKING: 28 Telegram Staff Members Cut by New Owners
- REPORT: Telegram Could Sell for $3 Million, 97% Loss in Value
- Worcester Telegram Sold to Florida-Based Halifax Media Group
- NEW: John Henry Makes it Official – Telegram for Sale
- John Henry Goes Silent on the Future of the Worcester Telegram
- Dean Starkman: Telegram & Gazette Becomes a Thanksgiving Leftover
- What the Experts Say About the Boston Globe and Telegram Sale
- Boston Globe and Telegram Sold – Lose 94% of Value
- Worcester Telegram’s Star Reporter Quits and Blasts Owners
- For the Telegram & Gazette, a Moment of Opportunity
- NEW: Former Telegram Building Gets $16M in Funding for Renovations
- INVESTIGATION: Inside the Telegram Sale
- The Living History of the Telegram
- NEW: Worcester Telegram, Boston Globe Up For Sale
- Telegram For Sale
- Who Will Buy The Worcester Telegram?
- NEW: Worcester Telegram Reporter Rips State Workers on Facebook
- Worcester Telegram’s Sole Local Bidder Walks – Future in Question
- Reaction to Telegram Staffing Cuts by New Owners
- Telegram Staff Slashed By New Owners: More Cuts Possible
- UPDATED: Telegram Sold for Third Time in 14 Months
- Worcester Remaining Positive in Wake of Telegram Being Sold Again
- Worcester Telegram Could Cut 20-30 Staff Members Under New Owners
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