Advance strikes again, axing 167 jobs at The Star-Ledger, reducing newsroom staff by 40
The expected layoffs at The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, were announced today by Advance Publications. Advance has using the same strategy across its newspapers: announcing the creation of a new company that will service the old newspaper titles, then eliminating the positions at the old property and forcing the remaining employees to reapply for their jobs.
Today 167 jobs were eliminated, 40 of them inside the newsroom. Other job losses are occurring at NJ.com and the three other papers that are part of the group – The Times of Trenton, The South Jersey Times and The Express-Times of Easton, Pa.
At other papers, Advance has also cut the home delivery or print frequency of the papers, this will not be happening (for now) at the four daily newspapers.
The Star-Ledger’s own story on the cuts admits that Advance is now pursuing “an aggressive ‘click-based’ digital strategy” which will not need a large newsroom staff to pursue.
At the other papers where Advance has introduced the new strategy, the company has said the moves were designed as part of their digital first initiatives, though no new digital initiatives were announced. Advance did not bother with that ruse this time around.
Another newspaper chain that also announced layoffs recently was Digital First Media, which said it would be shutting down its Thunderdome newsroom project and laying off its 45 staffers. While both chains have been struggling financially, though only DFM has been through bankruptcy (twice), while Advance is part of a more diversified media company, owners of Condé Nast, and are privately held.