Special Report: Global Financial
by Wang Jiangang
NEW YORK, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Gannett Company, Inc., the largest U.S.
newspaper chain, announced Tuesday that it will lay off about 10 percent of its
workforce by early December.
The move, together with projected job cuts at Time Weekly, New York Times
and other big-name media organizations, has made the U.S. economic scenario look
even gloomier for many.
Over the past few weeks, a number of U.S. newspapers and magazines have
announced their plans to shed jobs so as to lower their operation costs as the
pain of the financial crisis spreads well beyond Wall Street.
According to a New York Times report, Gannett's layoffs will not apply to
the company's flagship paper, USA Today, but to the company's 84 other daily
newspapers in the United States, and more than 800 small, non-daily local
Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher as measured by total daily
circulation, reportedly declined to say how many people would lose their jobs.
The 10-percent figure translates to roughly 3,000 people.
Besides, Time Warner's Time Inc, the world's largest magazine company,
plans a restructuring that could lead to as many as 600 job cuts, or about 6
percent of its workforce, said Reuters.
The move was taken in response to the onset of the world financial crisis,
which is aggravating an already difficult decline in advertising spending at
U.S. newspapers and magazines, particularly as more people shun printed
publications in favor of free information on the Internet.
It affects some of the most well-known U.S. magazines, including the Time
Weekly news magazine, People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. All these titles
are part of parent company Time Warner, which owns the AOL Internet service as
well as the CNN, the popular cable news television network.
"Industry conditions have been challenging due to the financial crisis,
which has produced sharp decreases in advertising spending. This is expected to
continue through most of 2009," Time Chairman and Chief Executive Ann Moore was
cited as writing in a memo on Tuesday to employees.
Just as it prepares for its 100th birthday, the Christian Science Monitor
has announced that it will discontinue its Monday-Friday print and will be
replaced by a weekly paper edition,as the daily news is picked up by its
The Monitor's editor, John Yemma, was quoted by a report available on www.
paidcontent.org as saying that there will likelybe layoffs, but refused to talk
about the exact number. The layoffs will likely occur when the shift goes into
effect sometime next April.
The decision was reportedly made as Monitor is feeling the pressure to be
more self-supporting. The paper, which tends to cover global and political news
from a liberal, analytic perspective, reportedly had 18.9 million dollars in net
losses last year with about 12.5 million dollars in revenue.
Earlier in September, The New York Times, the largest metropolitan
newspaper in the United States with the glory of winning 98 Pulitzer Prizes,
reported that it was shutting down City and Suburban Delivery Systems, a unit
that distributed the Times and 200 other publications to newsstands in the New
York, New Jersey and Connecticut area.
With it, the newspaper was reducing 550 full-time union jobs, but a source
later said the likely number would be 300 to 600.
As a result of the worsening economic situation, an increasing number of
businesses in various sectors have announced their job-cut plans.
In the past two weeks, the list of companies announcing their intention to
cut workers has read like a Who's Who of corporate America: Merck, Yahoo,
General Electric, Xerox, Pratt & Whitney, Goldman Sachs, Whirlpool, Bank of
America, Alcoa, Coca- Cola, the Detroit automakers and nearly all the airlines,
the International Herald Tribune reported.
When the October job losses are announced on Nov. 7, three days after the
presidential election, many economists expect the number to exceed 200,000. The
current U.S. unemployment rate of 6.1 percent is likely to rise, perhaps
"My view is that it will be near 8 or 8.5 percent by the end of next year,"
said Nigel Gault, the chief domestic economist at Global Insight. That would be
the highest rate since the deep recession of the early 1980s.
Analysts say that effective measures must be taken to help people weather
the current situation.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken the lead in adopting some
measures to cope with the situation.
On Thursday, he announced 18 initiatives to help New Yorkers cope with the
increasing challenges brought by the global, national and local economic
The initiatives were designed to create jobs, support the city's workforce,
small businesses and homeowners, and provide targeted relief to the city's most