September 12, 2014 Last Updated 7:39 am

Gannett’s Arizona Republic reportedly forcing newsroom employees to reapply for their jobs

It would be difficult for Gannett’s reputation in the newspaper industry to be much worse, but the company deserves credit for trying. The Phoenix Business Journal is reporting that newsroom staff at the Arizona Republic are being forced to reapply for jobs that have been renamed and redefined by management, as part of both a restructuring and downsizing of the paper’s employment levels.

AzRep-front-featureYet another round of layoffs have hit the Gannett papers, all in preparation for the eventual spin off of the newspaper properties from the broadcast properties. USA Today cut 60 to 70 positions just last week, blaming a fall in print advertising. Of course, it was all about “its digital transformation” – apparently one needs less journalists to write a story for online publications than for print publication, who knew?

The editors at the Republic apparently didn’t want to be seen as merely axe men and so has decided to redefine the positions inside the newsroom and then force reporters to reapply for the “new positions”. The Business Journal reports that some of those interviewing the staff will be coming from outside the newspaper. Very fishy.

Last year the paper cut 29 jobs at the paper as part of a round of Gannett layoffs that saw around 233 jobs eliminated. This round of layoffs at the Republic appear to be less severe than those at other Gannett properties, only 10 to 12 positions it is reported.

The Republic’s latest publisher’s statement shows daily circulation at 244,726 in print with only around 15K in digital circulation being reported. A decade ago the paper reported its daily circulation at 466,926. Meanwhile, Forbes ranks Phoenix as the third fastest growing city in America with approximately 4.3 million people living in its metropolitan area.

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