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Belo: Layoffs at ProJo Sister Publication Doesn't Signal Company-Wide Cuts

Amid fears that yesterday's news of plummeting circulation numbers at the ProJo could lead to more layoffs, this little tidbit in Providence Business News:

PROVIDENCE – The round of layoffs that took place last week at one of The Providence Journal’s sister newspapers was an isolated event and not part of a companywide round of job cuts, a top executive at the papers’ parent company said Wednesday.

“I’m not aware of any other layoffs” at A. H. Belo’s publications, Alison K. Engel, the Dallas-based company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, told Providence Business News in a phone interview.

The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., on Monday disclosed that it let go between 40 and 45 employees last week to deal with declining revenue and lower circulation.

“That event was specifically related to The Press-Enterprise,” Engel said, noting that Riverside has been “one of our hardest-hit markets.” A. H. Belo also owns The Dallas Morning News and the small Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle.

However, Engel acknowledged that all the papers could see more job cuts if the slump in advertising spending continues, reiterating a warning A. H. Belo’s chief executive gave in July. A. H. Belo will release its third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 30.

“As we continue to go through and reorganize and restructure our businesses, small little things like [the layoffs at The Press-Enterprise] could be happening,” Engel said.

“You’re kind of in a continuous state of restructuring,” she added.

As the piece suggests, the long-term picture is not good with circulation in freefall and advertising dollars migrating to the web. But nothing imminent, perhaps.

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