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Gannett cuts News-Leader positions in companywide sweep

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McLean, Va.-based media holding company Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) announced June 21 a 700 worker layoff, or 2 percent of its workforce, including employees at the Springfield News-Leader.

At the News-Leader, 18 people lost their jobs, 12 open positions will not be filled and the job titles of two employees were changed. Included in the local layoffs are Pam Clark, sports editor, and Everett Kennell, a news editor, who both wrote columns for the paper. Additionally, the News-Leader's Moms Like Me publication will now only be available online, according to News-Leader reporting.

Most of Gannett's 82 daily newspapers in the U.S. were hit with layoffs, but Gannett's largest paper, USA Today, was unaffected, according to the Associated Press.

In a letter to employees - available online at an independent blog about Gannett - Gannett U.S. Community Publishing President Bob Dickey cited advertising shortfalls in the company's decision to lay off company employees.

"National advertising remains soft and with many of our local advertisers reducing their overall budgets, we need to take further steps to align our costs with the current revenue trends," Dickey wrote in the letter. "Each of our local media organizations faces its own market conditions, challenges and opportunities."

Gannett Co. Inc. shares were trading at $13.37 as of 9:20 a.m., compared to a 52-week range of $11.65 to $18.93.
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