McClatchy (NYSE: MNI), whose shares have fallen from around $21 to about $3 in the last year, has announced its second big job elimination of the year: The newspaper publisher is cutting 1,150 jobs, or about 10 percent of its workforce. About half will come from “voluntary programs and managed attrition.” Excluding $20 million in severance costs, the company expects the move will save it $100 million over the next year; that represents about 6 percent of trailing twelve month expenses for the company. In June, McClatchy said it was eliminating 1,400 positions (which then also represented 10 percent of its workforce). There had been some hope that further layoffs might be avoided following a wage freeze announced last month.
The announcement doesn’t offer a breakdown between editorial and non-editorial eliminations, though CEO Gary Pruitt mentioned efforts to “sustain editorial quality and meet its public service journalism obligations despite some staff reductions.” Release.
The news also coincides with the release of August numbers, which were predictably weak. Revenue fell 15.7 percent on a 17.8 percent drop in ad revenue. Online revenue was up 7.4 percent — actually pretty impressive in light of the slow-to-no online growth many publishers have been experiencing this summer. Release.
Last week it was announced that CEO Gary Pruitt had removed himself as trustee of the McClatchy family trust, leading to some speculation that the company could be setting up to go private.