The newspaper industry was hit with more bad news mid-week, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer made deep cuts to its newsroom, and several newspaper publishers reported more revenue declines.
The Plain Dealer, owned by Advance Publications, delivered layoff notices to around 50 journalists, photographers, and page designers -- reducing its newsroom staff by about one-third, according to the Newspaper Guild. With around 110 staffers left, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s newsroom is now less than a third the size it was in 2006, when the work force was around 360.
The newspaper also plans to reduce home delivery to three days a week, as previously announced in April -- although it will continue printing seven days a week, with distribution via newsstands and retail. This approach differs somewhat from Advance’s strategy with other regional newspapers, including the New Orleans Times-Picayune,Harrisburg Patriot-News and Syracuse Post-Standard, where Advance cut the publication frequency -- not just the delivery schedule -- to three days a week.
Separately, A.H. Belo, the publisher of the Dallas Morning News, reported yet another round of revenue declines. Total revenues decreased 4% from $109.1 million in the second quarter of 2012 to $104.5 million in the second quarter of 2012, with advertising revenue dropping 3.7% from $64.2 million to $61.8 million and circulation revenue sliding 2.4% from $33.8 million to $33 million.
Journal Communications, which publishes the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that total publishing revenues fell 6.5% from $41.1 million in the second quarter of 2012 to $38.4 million in the second quarter of 2013. However, excluding revenues from a group of community publications in northern Wisconsin sold in December 2012, the publishing revenue decline was just 0.5%. The weak results on the publishing side were more than offset by growth in broadcasting revenues, which increased 15.3% from $54.5 million to $62.9 million over the same period.