McClatchy Co., owner of the Miami Herald and other newspapers, announced Monday it was cutting 1,600 jobs, or 15 percent of its workforce, because of falling advertising revenue and the weak economy.
McClatchy, the third-largest newspaper chain in the United States, warned of the possibility of job cuts last month when it cited an "unprecedented deterioration in revenues and with no visibility of an improving economy."
In a statement Monday, the company said "the headcount reductions will be achieved through severance programs, attrition and further consolidations and outsourcing of some business functions."
It said it would incur an estimated 30 million dollars in severance costs in connection with the job reductions, which it said were necessary as it tries to "manage through an increasingly poor national economic environment."
McClatchy also said that Gary Pruitt, its chairman and chief executive, will have his base salary reduced by 15 percent and other executives' salaries will be cut by 10 percent.
No bonuses will be paid to any executive officers in 2009.
"We have been transitioning steadily from a traditional newspaper company to a hybrid print and online, news and advertising company for some time," Pruitt said.
"The effects of the current national economic downturn make it essential that we move even faster to realign our workforce and make our operations more efficient," he said.
"We previously discussed a plan to reach a targeted level of cost savings, but given the worsening economy, we must do more. I'm sorry we have to take these actions, but we believe they are necessary."
Besides the Miami Herald, McClatchy owns some 30 other daily newspapers, including the Sacramento Bee, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Kansas City Star, and some 50 non-dailies.
Like other US newspapers, the Times has been struggling with a steep decline in print advertising revenue, falling circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.
McClatchy's shares fell by nearly 24 percent following the job cuts announcement, trading at around 45 cents on Wall Street.
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