Gannett Layoffs Affect Baxter Bulletin

Publicly traded media holding company Gannett Co. Inc. is laying off almost 300 of its employees across about 45 offices at its community newspapers, including some from the daily Baxter Bulletin of Mountain Home, its only paper in Arkansas.

The Gannett Blog, an independent website run by former Arkansas Gazette business editor Jim Hopkins, monitors Gannett’s transitions in the digital age and has been keeping track of the layoffs. The job cuts haven’t been publicly announced by Gannett.

Publisher Linda Ramey-Greiwe confirmed that the paper, which employs between 25 and 30, will lose two of its positions, an administrative assistant and a prepress job.

Ramey-Greiwe said that individual Gannett properties don’t report sales figures, but she said the paper is “performing in a comparable way” to other Gannett papers.

Gannett’s 2012 revenue was $2.35 billion, down from $2.51 billion in 2011. About $1.1 billion of that came from publishing circulation, up from $1 billion in 2011. Net income was $424 million, down from $458 million in 2011.

Incidentally, while Gannett announced last year that all of its community newspapers would be switching to digital pay walls, the Bulletin still has some free online content.

“We have what’s called a full-access model, which allows users to have access to some of our news and information, and other parts [are] behind a meter,” Ramey-Greiwe said. “It does require a subscription to access all content.”

She said the full-access model was introduced in May 2012, a few months after Gannett’s announcement, and the paper doesn’t anticipate moving to a full pay wall in the near future.