HOLD UNTIL 6 PM P-B cuts staffing by 8 percent
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
Small Newspaper Group, which owns the Post-Bulletin Co., announced work force reductions at member newspapers, effective Monday.
At the Post-Bulletin, positions held by 15 people, or about 8 percent of total staff, were eliminated in the first companywide work force reduction in memory at the Post-Bulletin. The layoffs are a result of the economic downturn as well as the business challenges facing media companies here and nationwide, according to P-B Publisher Randy Chapman.
Several major newspaper, magazine and broadcast media companies have announced layoffs in recent weeks, as the U.S. economy has slid toward recession.
"These are very difficult times for all businesses, and media companies such as the Post-Bulletin are no exception," Chapman said. "We regret having to take these steps, but it’s important for the future of our company and for our readers and customers that we address business challenges now."
After today’s cuts, the Post-Bulletin has 203 employees. Several departments in the company were affected; two positions were eliminated in the newsroom. All affected employees were offered participation in a compensation continuation plan based on years of service, as well as outplacement job assistance.
"Our economy and our industry face a number of cyclical problems principally due to the credit crunch, energy demands and softness in the retail consumer sector," Chapman said. "Here at the Post-Bulletin, the price of newsprint alone has risen more than 21 percent in the past year.
"Despite staff reductions, the Post-Bulletin remains by far the largest media and information company in southeastern Minnesota, with more than 50 journalists covering local news throughout the eight-county area," he said. "Our circulation and readership numbers are very strong, Postbulletin.com is growing dynamically, and we expect that when the economy improves, we’ll be well-positioned for future growth."
The Post-Bulletin’s paid circulation grew 1 percent in the six-month period ending Sept. 30, contrary to falling circulation at many U.S. metro newspapers. In the latest independent audit report, the P-B’s weekday circulation stood at 40,957. Weekend circulation was 44,787, up 2 percent compared with a year ago. The Post-Bulletin reaches more than 110,000 people in print and online with every edition.
"Our circulation and readership numbers are healthy, and the P-B’s editorial quality is as high as it has ever been," Chapman said. "I have great confidence in the future for local-oriented community newspapers such as ours, and we here are proud of the work we do and the role we play in our community."
Small Newspaper Group, a family-held, private company based in Kankakee, Ill., owns the Post-Bulletin Co. and four daily newspapers in Illinois. The Post-Bulletin Co. publishes a wide range of print and new media products, including Agri News, Rochester Magazine, Money Saver, Exposed and Rochestermn.com.