Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

AJC to Cut 189 Jobs in Atlanta

One of Georgia's largest newspapers is cutting costs by cutting Atlanta jobs and parts of the newspaper itself.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced in July it would cut 189 jobs-about 8 percent of its workforce-and eliminate its geographically-targeted news sections to help cut costs. According to an article by the AJC, the cuts come in the midst of an advertising revenue slump and increasing fuel and newsprint costs.

The jobs that will be cut between August and October include 85 newsroom positions, 58 that are currently filled, and 104 advertising positions. The cuts, which will leave a 350 person news staff, will be negotiated through voluntary buyouts, layoffs and job eliminations.

Atlanta as a whole has been facing job declines in recent months.The AJC also plans to cut positions in some other departments, and currently has a total of 2,300 full-time employees.

"The economic downturn and rising fuel prices have eroded revenues at a time when newspapers were already confronting slumping print advertising," the article notes. "Newspapers have historically built revenue on classified advertising, but those revenues have shrunk dramatically in the face of competition online, by alternatives such as Craigslist.

"The current economic slump has also affected three groups that traditionally advertise heavily in newspapers: real estate, automotive and employment," the article adds.

The newspaper also planned to cut some of its neighborhood sections beginning in August, including the Gwinnett News, NorthSide, CityLife and NorthWest. The paper also will get rid of the Better Health Buyer's Edge sections, which will be included in an expanded Living section on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The newspaper's metro section is expected to expand to cover news in the cut areas. The cost of producing the separate sections has led to a 35 percent increase in costs from last year. In 2007, the AJC cut sections from Atlanta's south metro counties and decreased the paper's circulation area.

The AJC also plans to revamp its advertising department and offer advertising space in print, online and by direct mail. Total readership for the paper's print and online editions has increased 7 percent from last year. The AJC also is planning to spend $30 million for new printing presses at its Gwinnett County production plant.

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