Owner: The Columbian Publishing Co.
Date: February 2008
The paper eliminated 30 positions in February.
Source: Portland Business Journal
Thursday, July 10, 2008 – 9:05 AM PDT
Portland Business Journal
The Columbian laid off about 20 people on Tuesday and Wednesday, the second round of layoffs for the Vancouver paper since February.
Eight newsroom staff, including a photographer, were cut, according to editor Lou Brancaccio. The remaining cuts were made in other departments, including advertising sales.
“It’s not over yet,” Brancaccio said. “There could be some early retirements.” These will take longer, as there is a legally defined waiting period to allow employees to decide whether or not to take early retirement offers.
The Columbian employed about 306 people at the end of April. In February, 30 jobs were eliminated, with about 11 of them as open jobs left unfilled.
In a public statement, Columbian Publisher Scott Campbell said that the paper has seen another decline in advertising this year, primarily in classified advertising.
“Advertising pays about 80 percent of the cost of publishing the newspaper,” he said.
Newspaper advertising has fallen sharply over the past two years, as many advertisers move their ads to Internet sites, including the rapidly expanding, Bay Area-based Craigs List, and newspapers’ own Web sites.
Newspaper ad revenue fell 8 percent last year, and by June, advertising had dropped another 12 percent, according to a New York Times report.
Further changes are ahead at The Columbian, including possible consolidation of some sections of the newspaper.
Apart from declining ad revenue, Campbell’s statement cited “soaring” costs for newsprint, fuel and employee medical insurance.
Like many other daily newspapers across the country, The Columbian’s recent cuts follow a period of expansion.
In January this year, the Columbian began operating from its new office building in downtown Vancouver. The paper had purchased 6 acres for the new offices in 2002, and broke ground on the project in March 2006.
The Columbian bought the Camas-Washougal Post-Record, a weekly paper, in October 2004.