ProJo cuts 23 jobs; reporters and columnists spared

Nov 8, 2012

The Providence Journal reports that it has eliminated 23 jobs, including 16 Providence Newspaper Guild positions, following up on plans to cut spending at the statewide daily by $1.2 million.

The cutback represents 5 percent of The Journal’s work force. The reductions come about two months after 11 employees accepted a voluntary separation offer. 

“Given a persistent softness in advertising revenue and the resultant impact on our earnings, it is necessary that we reduce our cost structure,” said Howard G. Sutton, publisher, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “It is always difficult to reduce staffing levels through layoffs, but it’s necessary to ensure the future of the franchise.

Sutton said the primary objective of The Providence Journal is to protect the depth and quality of its news coverage on all platforms. To that end, no reporters or columnists have been laid off and there will be minimal impact on other content providers in the newsroom, he said.

John Hill, president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, represents about 200 editorial and advertising employees at the paper.

“This layoff, though not the largest we’ve endured, is particularly painful because of the quality of the people we are going to lose,” Hill said.

Elsewhere, Bob Plain questions whether the number of cuts was higher.

The ProJo has previously downsized through a periodic series of buyouts and limited layoffs.