Just one week after news of the merger surfaced, Gatehouse laid off nearly 20 reporters from newsrooms including The Oklahoman, Palm Beach Post, Cape Cod Times and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
At the time of those layoffs, Gatehouse did not announced the reduction in workforce.
However, the Associated Press has now confirmed the layoffs and reports that more than two dozen newsroom employees have been laid off across at least 10 newspapers over the past three weeks.
“GateHouse doesn’t have a vision for growing revenue, only cutting costs,” charged Andrew Pantazi, a reporter at the Florida Times-Union, a GateHouse paper in Jacksonville, Florida, and head of a union chapter there, told the AP. “Eventually, they’ll run out of costs to cut.”
The AP’s report notes that Gatehouse hasn’t kept up with competitors as it tries to adapt to a “post-print world.”
The publisher’s digital business makes up 12% of its revenue. Gannett’s accounts for 36% of its revenue.
Gatehouse’s intended merger with Gannett was announced in early August. The $1.4 billion deal would see Gannett, which is home to 263 daily media organizations, and Gatehouse, which publishes 150 dailies and 500 weeklies, become the largest newspaper publisher in the country.At the time of the merger news, Michael Reed, New Media Chairman-CEO, stated: “We believe this transaction will create value for our shareholders, greater opportunities for our employees, and a stronger future for journalism… We are committed to delivering significant synergies in a thoughtful manner, consistent with our shared goals for the business.”