Owner: The E.W. Scripps Co.
Date: Nov. 6, 2008
50 jobs were cut companywide; 13 were cut in the newsroom.
Source: Paper Cuts tip and Knoxville News Sentinel
News Sentinel staff
Originally published 05:04 p.m., November 6, 2008
Updated 05:04 p.m., November 6, 2008
The KNS Media group, which includes the News Sentinel, on Thursday eliminated the positions of approximately 50 employees, a reduction in force reflecting the economic challenges the media industry has been facing.
The reduction in force represented about 10 percent of the organization’s workforce and included 13 newsroom employees.
Newspapers nationwide have been struggling with a variety of economic issues that have affected profitability, including sharply rising newsprint prices, increasing costs of pension and health care contributions, changes in the nation’s retail sector, shifts in classified advertising and the overall slowdown in the economy.
“The KNS Media Group and the News Sentinel have been taking steps to address the changes happening in the media industry with new information and advertising solutions,” said News Sentinel Publisher Bruce Hartmann. “However, current economic conditions and challenges based on cost realities make internal staffing changes necessary.
Hartmann said the company would be providing separation benefits to help the affected employees in their transition.
Later this month, readers also will see changes in the newspaper itself that are designed to be more efficient while at the same time maintaining the News Sentinel’s commitment to timely and relevant local news and information. The changes will include moving local news into the A section and creating a combined Business and Comment section.
“As we make these changes, we will be keeping our focus on five content priorities,” said Editor Jack McElroy. “They are: local news and watchdog reporting, local sports coverage, local business news, information about things to do in the area, and content that gets the names, faces and views of the people of the community into their newspaper.”
The News Sentinel’s family of Web sites, including knoxnews.com, knoxvillebiz.com and govolsxtra.com, will be unaffected by the changes.
“Traffic to our online sites is growing rapidly, and, as a result, we are reaching more readers than ever before,” Hartmann said. “We are committed to continuing to expand this vital part of our business and to being East Tennessee’s first source of news online.”
“Although these are challenging times for the newspaper industry,” Hartmann added, “We are confident that, after a period of transition, a bright future lies ahead for the News Sentinel and its associated products.”
In addition to the News Sentinel, the KNS Media Group includes the Shopper-News, MetroPulse and Blount Today weekly newspapers; Knoxville, skirt!, Greater Knoxville Business Journal, Home Market and Auto Seller magazines; Tennessee Valley Direct direct mail service; The Sports Page radio show, and operations that provide commercial printing and distribution services.