Technological advancements have transformed nearly every industry in the world. The news industry is no exception. As the age of internet emerged and people started getting everything in one click. Any news from across the world was available on fingertips. Like every industry, the news industry had to adapt as according to changing dynamics and opt for the online option. The print and digital prints had been circulated and new ways to reach readers have been found. Then social media pages were started, online live news feeds were presented, and apps were built to offer convenience to the tech-savvy generation. The traditional print medium continued, but the competition to gain viewership on digital medium began.
The U.S. industry has been trying to adapt to the world of internet and free news. Some organizations have successfully adapted to the new model, but some have struggled. As news publishing houses try to reorganize their organizations, they need to take some harsh steps. Sacramento Bee, the largest newspaper in Sacramento, California has cut down jobs and had to say goodbye to their journalists and staff members in the recent round of layoff. The dismissal will be effective from early May.
The California based newspaper dismissed 15 editorial staffers and eight employees from the production and copy. It is another step by the news outlet and its parent company McClatchy to cope with the loss of revenue and circulation. Ed Fletcher, a reporter who was among dismissed employees, told Comstock’s, “It’s not an isolated incident. Newspapers and news outlets are hurting across the country as they try to adjust to a changing business model. If people think they will continue to get the news for free, they have another thing coming.”
The recent layoff took place after reorganizations, employee buyouts, and staff reductions. Bee provided buyouts to employees in August 2017 and dismissed 12 journalists in the second quarter of 2017. In its recent earnings report, McClatchy reported a net loss of $331 million in the calendar year 2017, though the company recorded a huge growth in digital subscribers in the fourth quarter.
Jeanne Segal, a spokeswoman for McClatchy outlined that breaking down barriers among staffers and reporters was necessary across the company’s West Region. There will be a more regional focus if it serves local readers better. Segal said, “The Sacramento Bee will remain a strong local paper because we have to be essential to our communities.”
In an internal letter to employees, new Regional Editor for California of McClatchy Lauren Gustus told colleagues that layoffs were part of restructuring efforts of a company. The company is looking forward to boosting collaboration between editorial staff at various company papers. New team members with specific expertise will be hired to fill important roles. Gustus wrote, “Our future requires us to adapt and innovate, and we will continue to change as we forge a path forward.”