2009 layoffs and buyouts at U.S. newspapers.
The following totals are correct as of Dec. 31, 2009. The map will continue to be updated as I get new information. See all 2009 posts.
Number of newspapers that laid off employees in 2009. Does not include corporate/non-newspaper specific layoffs (Associated Press, Dow Jones Co., Gannett Co. Inc., GateHouse Media News Service, Lee Enterprises, McClatchy Interactive, Media General Washington bureau and Sun Newspapers).
Average number of newspaper layoffs per day, including weekends and holidays. In 2008, 44 newspaper employees were laid off each day.
Number of “unknown” layoff posts. Assuming each entry results in 1 layoff, the 2009 layoff total would be 15,014.
Number of 1-layoff posts in 2009. At 15 of those newspapers, it was the only known layoff.
Number of newspapers that stopped publishing a print edition in 2009. 13 of those papers continue to publish online. The Island Breeze was the last paper added — it’s last print edition was Dec. 31.
Number of employees laid off at the Orange County Register on Sept. 1 when delivery was outsourced to the Los Angeles Times — the largest single layoff incident of 2009.
Number of newspapers that laid off 100 or more employees in 2009. That number does not include the Associated Press, which is a cooperative, not a newspaper; or the Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News or Sun Newspapers, which are represented on the map by a red marker, but their numbers include layoffs for a larger group.
Number of newspapers reporting layoffs in California — the most newspapers reporting layoffs of any state.
Number of newspapers reporting layoffs in Rhode Island and Delaware. In all other states, layoffs were reported at 2 or more papers.
Difference in the number of layoffs recorded in 2009 vs. 2008.
Number of newspaper publishers or editors who have returned e-mails or other messages inquiring about layoffs. A June column by publisher Denny Bonavita said the Courier-Express of DuBois, Penn., laid off employees in 2009, but did not say how many. When I sent him an e-mail, Bonavita replied that two employees had been laid off in 2009, and provided information on layoffs in 2008 that I hadn’t known about. As I said then, Bonavita’s openness was refreshing; I wish more publishers and newsroom leaders would follow his lead.