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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Post-Dispatch Lays Off 39 More Employees

Posted By on Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 5:04 PM

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today let go of 39 people across four departments -- newsroom, finance, operations and advertising.

As far as the newsroom goes, so far I know of two online employees and one copy editor who were fired.

The cuts apparently came as the night shift began arriving for work about 4 p.m.

Here's the official statement from Publisher Kevin Mowbray: "While print and online audience remains strong and stable, we continue to feel the financial challenges from a decline in advertising revenue caused by the recession," said Mowbray. "Today's work force reduction is necessary and difficult for everyone, but we will continue to produce and deliver the most comprehensive news coverage to 1.2 million readers each week."

This is the local daily's third set of layoffs in the last several months (I chronicled the first round here, and the second round here). The paper's parent company, Lee Enterprises, has been trying to reduce costs in order to make a large debt payment this year.

Lee is now a penny stock and is facing punitive action by the New York Stock Exchange.

Expect even more noticeable changes at the Post in the next couple months:

Executive editor Arnie Robbins told me just yesterday that the paper has plans to shrink in size come March. Robbins stressed that the number of pages will not be reduced, though the size of the pages will shrink.

A number of other major dailies around the country have made similar changes during the last six or so months, but many also reduced their total page count. "That will absolutely not be the case for us," Robbins stressed.

For all of our "Post-Dispatches," click here.

-Kristen Hinman   

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