Inquirer, Daily News and layoff numbers revealed

In terms of percentage of staff, it’s a much bigger hit to the Daily News and, which lose roughly a quarter and half of their editorial staffs. It’s less than 10 percent of the Inquirer’s newsroom

Photo via Paul Sableman on Flickr

Photo via Paul Sableman on Flickr


The new reality for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and is becoming clearer — today, the Newspaper Guild learned how many positions would be cut from its newsrooms.

It’s a total of 46 staffers; 17 each from the Daily News and, and a dozen from the Inquirer.

But those numbers are deceiving. In terms of percentage of staff, it’s a much bigger hit to the Daily News and, which lose roughly a quarter and half of their editorial staffs. It represents a loss of less than 10 percent of the Inquirer’s newsroom, at more than 200 employees.

Among those affected: Daily News beat writers for the Phillies and the Flyers:

More staffers were being called Wednesday afternoon.

New Publisher Terry Egger told the staffs of the newsrooms on Friday that cuts were necessary, as he aims to achieve up to $6 million in savings over the next three years. The layoff represents 10 percent of the Newspaper Guild’s 445 members.

What happens now

Earlier, Gensler explained to Billy Penn the process under which Philadelphia Media Network management must work with the Newspaper Guild on layoffs. It’s complicated.

“If there are open jobs in the company, the company is supposed to place people who are to be laid off in jobs they can perform. We have to go through a seniority list with the company so people can bounce back to jobs they previously had,” Gensler said. “It means if there’s going to be a layoff in reporters, and one of those reporters used to be a graphic artist or a photographer, and that reporter has more seniority than others, then the company is supposed to place them back in those positions.”

That results in confusion.

“When there’s a layoff, there’s a rolling tidal wave of bounces… You lay off people over here, and you lose people over here,” Gensler said. “The whole thing is set up to make it difficult to lay people off, to try to keep people in the company who have given or have spent a lot of time to make the company better.”

The layoffs are expected to take effect by Dec. 4.

This post will be updated as details become available.

Full disclosure: Chris Krewson is the former executive editor, online at The Inquirer, and has many friends still employed by the Philadelphia Media Network.

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Chris Krewson is the executive director of LION Publishers, a national nonprofit association that serves local journalism entrepreneurs build sustainable news organizations, and the founding editor of Billy Penn. He lives in Havertown.