Indianapolis Star to lay off 23 workers

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Twenty-three Indianapolis Star employees will be laid off as part of attempts by the newspaper’s parent, Gannett Co. Inc., to cut costs.

President and Publisher Michael Kane told employees in a memo this morning that details about the layoffs would be forthcoming next week.

The downsizing was necessary to counter a revenue decline that shows little sign of improving “anytime soon,” Kane said in the memo.

“The big question on your minds is probably whether more job eliminations will come in the future,” the memo said. “The only thing I can tell you is that we are working as hard as possible to turn around our revenue declines – and we have had some local successes.

“But so long as the declining overall revenue trend continues, we will be managing in a difficult environment,” the memo continued. “We must keep expense trends consistent with our revenue trends.

The memo was posted at

Kane added that the newspaper’s digital audience is growing and has achieved a wide reach. Niche publications are succeeding, too, he said.

“Unfortunately, in the short term we will be saying goodbye to some employees who have contributed to our success and that will be difficult,” the memo said. “The goal, however, is to strengthen our company for the future, and to get through this economic downturn in a way that positions us to grow.”

Gannett said this week that it will shed 3 percent of its work force, or about 1,000 jobs.

The Star Press, a Gannett newspaper in Muncie, said today that two of its 125 employees would be laid off.

Gannett has announced layoffs at several of its other newspapers, including 50 in Asbury Park, N.J.; 35 in Cherry Hill, N.J.; 50 in Nashville, Tenn.; 23 in Des Moines, Iowa; and 15 in Louisville, Ky. An announcement also is expected today in Cincinnati.

Officials at Gannett headquarters in McLean, Va., said decisions on staff cuts would be made at each property based on financial targets and performances. Gannett publishes more than 80 dailies, including USA Today, and 900 non-dailies.

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