JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Newsroom layoffs have begun at The Florida Times-Union, which signaled plans to downsize last month with the decision to stop printing the daily newspaper in Jacksonville.
Employees learned of the layoffs Thursday morning. They include four reporters, two members of the photo staff, one editor, one designer and two members of the clerical staff, a staffer reported.
The move marks a significant change from previous budget cuts. While some vacant positions have gone unfilled in recent months, the Times-Union has traditionally insulated the newsroom from cuts.
In a statement posted on the newspaper's website, Jacksonville.com, president Mark Nusbaum attributed the cuts to sagging print advertising revenues, an issue at papers across the country.
"While these are very difficult decisions to make, it is necessary to deal with the current financial realities," Nusbaum said. “We remain committed to providing our readers with the very best local coverage of important issues in our community in print and online and providing advertisers with the highest level of service. We hope that this re-set will put us on a long-term path to financial success, with the necessary resources in place to drive digital audience and digital advertising growth."
The layoffs come four months after longtime owners Morris Publishing sold the newspaper, along with 10 others, to GateHouse Media, which owns more than 130 daily newspapers nationwide.
Last month, the Times-Union announced plans to outsource its printing operation and move its headquarters downtown. Those changes were expected to result in the loss of roughly 50 jobs.
Beginning in February, the newspaper will start printing its daily papers in Gainesville and its Sunday edition in Daytona.