Layoffs, cutbacks, business model shattered. What is the future?

I took the above photo the day before my job interview nearly six months ago.

Today, in a 10-minute period, I received two e-mails from folks at other Gannett papers. Attached was a memo saying that there would be a 10-percent cutback in the workforce at Gannett papers nationwide.

Moments later, I received the same e-mail from our publisher.

Moments later, the editor came into the newsroom to make the announcement.

The catylist was the poor economy and plummeting stock prices, but the real reason is a failing business model.

The band-aid solution? Cut back the workforce. Cut back the size of the paper. It makes sense, since those are the two biggest expenses. The possibility of a two-section paper was raised twice today, but exactly what a two-section paper looks like is unclear. The necessity of figuring in Internet content with our future was acknowledged. Again, implementation is uncertain.

But what comes next? Will the community follow us online if that’s the only way we can afford to distribute news? And if the community will follow us online, will advertisers? What can I do to help?

Today in the news industry, there are many more questions than there are answers.


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