Big Cuts for McClatchy Newspapers, Including the Bee

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, June 16, 2008

Unlike many large newspaper companies, McClatchy has a reputation of balancing quality journalism with the need to make a profit.  This week, for example, it’s running an investigative series on prisoner abuse at U.S. military bases in Afghanistan.  And even as it cuts 10 percent of jobs, newspaper analyst John Morton says McClatchy’s spreading the pain.
Morton: “They haven’t focused their cuts on the newsroom, which a lot of newspapers have done.” 
But that’s little solace to Sacramento Bee reporter and union representative Ed Fletcher.  He says between layoffs, buyouts and eliminating unfilled positions, the Bee’s newsroom has lost 30 people since last August.
Fletcher: “That’s a lot of reporting and newsroom power that we’re not replacing, and it hurts our coverage.” 
At the Bee, Fletcher says, that means no health care reporter, no labor reporter and stories that Fletcher calls reactive, not proactive.

McClatchy says its ad revenues are down 15 percent, due in large part to the slumping housing market.