Owner: Lee Enterprises
Date: Aug. 27, 2008
4 full-time and 3 part-time employees were laid off.
Posted on August 27
By the Missoulian
The Missoulian reduced its work force Wednesday by seven employees, publisher Stacey Mueller announced.
“With a tough economic environment resulting in skyrocketing newsprint and fuel costs, along with soft employment and real estate markets, the Missoulian has been faced with very tough financial decisions, not dissimilar to many other businesses in our community and our industry,” Mueller said.
“As a result, we have been working very hard over the last several months to reduce spending, improve efficiencies in our processes, reconfigure products and reorganize our staff,” she said. “Our goal all along has been to make changes that would result in the least impact to our readers, advertisers and employees. I believe we have succeeded in that goal, but not without the painful decision to lay off seven of our highly valued employees.”
Wednesday’s layoffs affected four full-time employees and three part-time employees. Two worked in the newsroom, two in advertising, one in circulation, and two were part-time telemarketing sales staff whose work was outsourced to a local company.
“This was a very difficult decision, one we don’t take lightly, as the folks impacted were our team members and we care about each of them,” Mueller said.
Among the challenges facing the Missoulian, she said, is the cost of newsprint, the newspaper’s second-largest expense behind personnel. That cost will rise 26 percent from a year ago in the quarter beginning Oct. 1; thus, the newspaper’s work to cut back on newsprint use through several recently announced changes and several newly instituted efforts at efficiency.
“The cost-reduction work by our management team helped to greatly minimize the number of employees impacted by the layoffs,” Mueller said. “As a result of this very hard work, we are positioned stronger and ready to ride out the tough economic environment.”
Other newspapers around the nation have been cutting staff and other costs as they face rising transportation and paper costs, the depressed housing industry and other changing economic forces in crucial advertising markets.
“While this situation has been difficult, we have much to be proud of,” Mueller said. “The Missoulian is still the leading source of local and national news throughout western Montana, reaching more than 100,000 adults in a typical week. Our award-winning reporters and photographers are without parallel, and our audience in print and online continues to grow. That is testament to the hard-working, dedicated team of individuals who put out your paper each and every day, without fail. We truly care about the communities we serve, and will continue to provide the same quality of coverage in the days ahead.”