Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.
Update: Des Moines Register eliminates 56 jobs
Forty-one employees have been let go and 15 open positions won’t be filled at The Des Moines Register, according to a memo released to employees today.
An additional four employees volunteered for a severance package.
“Those employees who are leaving us in the coming days have made important and hard-working contributions to the Des Moines Register, many for a number of years,” Register Publisher Laura Hollingsworth said today. “We are grateful to them for all their service and we thank them for their impact to this company and to our communities.”
The total makes up nearly 7 percent of the paper’s 801 employees.
The Indianola Record-Herald and the Altoona Herald, also owned by The Register’s parent company, Gannett Co., will let 14 employees go.
The Iowa Independent reported earlier today that longtime editorial cartoonist Brian Duffy is among those losing his job.
The job cuts are part of a plan announced by Gannett in October to cut 10 percent of its payroll by the end of the year at its 85 daily newspapers.
Below is the memo Hollingsworth sent out today:
To: All Des Moines Register and Affiliate Employees
From: Laura Hollingsworth, President and Publisher
December 3, 2008
This week we notified 41 Des Moines Register employees that they were being laid off in response to the worsening economic situation. Another 15 open positions will not be filled, and we had four employees who volunteered for a severance package.
In our weeklies division including the Des Moines metro-area weekly newspapers and our Marengo operations, there are an additional 14 employees being impacted.
This total employee impact translates to 6.9% of our 801 member workforce.
All laid off employees will receive severance packages and benefits for up to 26 weeks.
Those employees who are leaving us in the coming days have made important and hard-working contributions to the Des Moines Register, many for a number of years. We are grateful to them for all their service and we thank them for their impact to this company and to our communities.
The layoffs here and those going on throughout Gannett are difficult but necessary steps. The challenges the current economy poses are well known. Though it may be well into 2009 before we see some relief, the actions we are taking now will position us to take full advantage of the turnaround. With your help and through it all, The Des Moines Register will continue to remain strong.
I thank you for your hard work as we move forward. You are a very talented and committed group of employees. Together, we will get through this. LH