Analysis: Most large US newspapers have experienced layoffs in past 16 months

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More than half of the largest newspapers in the U.S. have laid off employees since January 2017, according to an analysis released on Monday.

The Pew Research Center found that nine of the 16 newspapers with circulations of 250,000 or more, or 56 percent, had experienced layoffs during a 16-month period ending in April.

Pew’s findings are released on the same day the New York Daily News announced that it is cutting half its editorial staff in another round of massive layoffs at the 99-year-old tabloid.

“We are fundamentally restructuring the Daily News,” an email to staff from the paper’s new owner, Tronc, reads. “We are reducing today the size of the editorial team by approximately 50 percent and re-focusing much of our talent on breaking news — especially in areas of crime, civil justice and public responsibility.”

“The decisions being announced today reflect the realities of our business and the need to adapt an ever-changing media environment,” Tronc added in the email. “They are not a reflection on the significant talent that is leaving today. Let there be no doubt: these colleagues are highly valued and will be missed.”

The New York Daily News once had one of the largest circulations in the country.

Pew also found that 36 of the 110 daily newspapers in the U.S. experienced layoffs between January 2017 and April.

“Of the 110 daily newspapers in the analysis, 40 — or 36 percent — were found to have gone through publicly reported layoffs during the 16-month study period, with at least 12 experiencing more than one round of layoffs,” reads the Pew study.

“It is possible that even more occurred but remained under the radar of the search methods employed in this analysis,” it adds.

Tronc, which purchased the Daily News in September, has executed layoffs at other publications it owns, most notably at the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, as print media continues to struggle in an increasingly digital and competitive environment.


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