'Tennessean' hit in round of Gannett layoffs, more may be coming

Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 6:50pm

The Tennessean laid off at least one reporter on Thursday as a round of cuts swept through the Gannett chain. And more cuts may be on the way.

Inquiries to The Tennessean were referred to Kurt Allen, the paper's new vice president of marketing, who did not return calls.

A source told The City Paper that today's layoff was done ahead of a planned vacation and that senior management said more cuts are expected. Courts reporter Bobby Allyn was laid off Thursday, and noted food writer Jennifer Justus confirmed that she had turned in her notice and would be leaving the paper.

A Gannett corporate spokesman told media observer Jim Romenesko that, "Some USCP [U.S. Community Publishing] sites are making cuts to align their business plans with local market conditions.”

There were at least 170 confirmed layoffs chain-wide, with several other papers in the Middle Tennessee area being affected. The Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville lost four employees, while the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, which just went through a recent restructuring and laid off six newsroom staffers, laid off one.

In a confidential memo to managers, Tennessean publisher and central group president Laura Hollingsworth issued a set of talking points to her papers, outlining the "progress on the many transformative initiatives to seek new sources of revenue."

Recent corporate filings, however, show that the chain is substantially behind on their goal of a quarter million digital-only subscribers chain-wide by the end of 2013. As of July 1, Gannett had signed up only 64,000, with 46,000 of those already on the books when the campaign was announced in January.

Second quarter advertising revenue in print products fell 5.3 percent over the same period in 2012. It was the third-straight quarterly decline.

11 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 8/2/13 at 4:56

How can anyone wish the Tennessean any good luck, when they talk about
serving the area better with every new management change, then do nothing but
stick with the very typical nationwide Gannett template and agenda with virtually every
story they publish.

By: Luckyforward on 8/2/13 at 5:43

In the context of the Tennessean being a "fish wrapper", it is with grief that I see the City Paper leave the stage. Local TV news does not want to report the news, but create it, thus, Nashville is left with no real news outlet.

But if you want a cheesy religion article or to see pages of ads, you need the Tennessean

By: joe41 on 8/2/13 at 6:28

The Tennessean wants too much for their digital only version and that is why they are way behind in subscribers. So laying off more reporters will make the paper less relevant.

By: courier37027 on 8/2/13 at 6:38

Tennessean sports section has become a pamphlet.

It will be interesting to see future and irrelevant newspaper endorsemenrts of political candidates. "The Tennessean endorses Jim Cooper for Congress.". People will ask who is Cooper and what is The Tennessean.

By: Jughead on 8/2/13 at 7:45

Gannett is not a "newspaper", it is liberal propaganda. And, very poorly written.

Is anyone surprised?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/2/13 at 8:33

I heat this for the people being laid off, but the Tennessean stop being a good paper the day the Banner closed. Now with out City Paper it will only get worse.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/2/13 at 8:34

shb hate

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 8/2/13 at 2:27

"progress on the many transformative initiatives to seek new sources of revenue."

That's actually pretty funny. It means. "We're broke and can't sell jack."

By: pswindle on 8/3/13 at 11:08

Someone in TN needs to buy the paper and bring it back home.

By: Vuenbelvue on 8/3/13 at 8:57

House Amend 413 to H.R. 2397: To end authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. Jul 24, 2013 (113th Congress Failed Ayes 205 No's 217

Aye R Roe, Phil TN 1st
Aye R Duncan, John TN 2nd
Aye R Fleischmann, Chuck TN 3rd
Aye R DesJarlais, Scott TN 4th
No D Cooper, Jim TN 5th
Aye R Black, Diane TN 6th
Aye R Blackburn, Marsha TN 7th
Aye R Fincher, Stephen TN 8th
Aye D Cohen, Steve TN 9th


By: slzy on 8/4/13 at 1:14

for the love of God why cannot all the local weekly papers merge into a daily? Jefferson could not see the day we would not have government or newspapers.