Layoffs at 'Tennessean' reach 16 total, three from newsroom

Monday, August 5, 2013 at 3:13pm
Updated: 3:45 p.m.

Layoffs continued at The Tennessean on Monday as two more newsroom employees were laid off and another gave notice.

Senior editor Deb Fisher, sports reporter John Glennon both lost their jobs. Additionally, Sumner County editor Mike Towle was laid off. Towle’s Gallatin News Examiner was named one of the best small papers in the state by the Tennessee Press Association last week and received top honors in investigative, lifestyles, features and design categories.

Calls to the paper were referred to Bob Faricy, The Tennessean’s vice president for market development, who confirmed the newsroom cuts as well as 10 more in advertising and three in marketing.

“As we’ve shared with our employees, today we made some personnel and other moves to align our resources to current local market conditions and toward our longer term strategic needs," according to a statement from Tennessean President and Publisher Laura Hollingsworth. "While some positions were eliminated, we also welcomed all impacted employees to pursue other positions we continue to recruit and hire for."

When asked about frozen positions or what this meant for the paper going forward, Faricy said that "the nature of the entire workforce is very fluid."

Like many media companies, Gannett has been under significant financial pressure. Just two weeks ago, the company posted second quarter earnings and revenue figures that were lower than a year ago.

Monday’s layoffs brought the newsroom layoff total to three after courts reporter Bobby Allyn’s job was eliminated last Thursday. Additionally, noted food writer Jennifer Justus and photographer Dipti Vaidya have given their notice. These departures come within months of a spate of other departures in the paper’s business and news departments. Towle is counted as a Gannett Tennessee employee.

Not included in this round of layoffs is Gannett’s Nashville design studio, which is responsible for the production of The Tennessean and other Gannett papers throughout the southeast. One source, who did not wish to be identified, said that the studio — which is on the corporate payroll — gave small raises to its staff this year, but has open positions in management and is being led by a director in Des Moines, Iowa.

Other Gannett properties in Middle Tennessee laid off staff last week as well. The Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville lost three employees, while the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, which recently laid off six newsroom staffers in a recent restructuring, eliminated one job.

As of noon, the independent Gannett Blog had tallied 244 job cuts around the company, including 29 in Phoenix, 23 in Cincinnati and 19 in Indianapolis. 

18 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 8/5/13 at 1:37

Investigative - That's a joke, they don't have an investigative reporter & haven't for several years. They don't even have an authentic reporter! They can't deliver a complete paper on Sunday & those advertisers are getting bilked for their ads not being in the paper as they paid for. No wonder they are going down.

By: jasonweaver on 8/5/13 at 1:56

Financial pressure my rear end. The quarter to quarter mentality has been the death the Tennessean since Gannett bought the paper.

By: joe41 on 8/5/13 at 4:22

No word at Louisville Courier Journal so is this just a Middle Tennessee issue?


By: Jughead on 8/6/13 at 7:08

Hahahahaha---I guess their communist/liberal agenda ain't selling papers. Plus, the writing was absolutely horrible.

Shut down the whole Gannet propaganda empire. And, I wish the Tennessean would quit dumping those ads all over town wrapped in yellow plastic. Friggin littering, and the pukes don't care.

By: global_citizen on 8/6/13 at 7:24

John Glennon was the one last thing that kept me reading the Tennessean, so I guess they've lost one more reader now.

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 8/6/13 at 7:28

Newspapers everywhere are going down.. It's a good thing. Think of all the trees that won't be cut down so that some moron's drivvel can be printed on the paper. They try to charge for "online" subscriptions, but nobody seems to be willing to buy those either. Most of their editorial ideas are nonsense which fewer and fewer believe anyway. Technology has made them dinosaurs for one thing. "Journalism schools" have had the same effect on that filed which "songwriter colleges" have had on the music business. It's all the same old crap and no one is paying attention.

By: localboy on 8/6/13 at 7:55

"Like many media companies, Gannett has been under significant financial pressure. Just two weeks ago, the company posted second quarter earnings and revenue figures that were lower than a year ago." Finally, something the City Paper can relate to with Gannett.

By: nottoc on 8/6/13 at 8:12

It is about time this paper suffers for its' lack of balanced political reporting. I finally dropped the paper due to its' lack of content and it's biased position on every issue toward the far left.

By: BigPapa on 8/6/13 at 8:31

I dont see how, even if they go to straight internet content w/ no printed edition, they can go on w/o writers.

By: wasaw on 8/6/13 at 8:55

I’m glad I’ve helped this communist rag meet its goal for unsubscribers. It even gave its 2012 presidential nod to Mitt Romney, in hopes of keeping its readers. Apparently that didn’t work. We cancelled our twenty-five year subscription last year and haven’t missed it one bit. Can’t wait to see it go the way of the old “Banner”.

I hate to see anyone lose their job but it’s liberal biased media outlets such as “The Tennessean” that’s destroying this great country.

By: ChrisMoth on 8/6/13 at 9:54

We should all fear the day our "news" is reduced to facebook and the blogosphere. The misinformation "out there", a mouse click away, is astounding.

Hopefully, when the internet revolution is finished turning journalism upside down, there'll still be a healthy place for detailed and researched professional journalism to mix with public comment.

For that to take place under any previous models, subscribers are going to need to foot the bill.... somehow - and that means subscription $, or our more value time occupied with advertisements.

Chris Moth, 2020 Overhill Dr

By: pswindle on 8/6/13 at 11:24

I hope the newspaper survives. I start my morning with the Tennessean. I wish a Tennessean would buy the paper, and that might keep it afloat.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/6/13 at 11:54

Gannett is too big to be any good. I doubt that anyone at corporate office knows how to run a news paper. There only goal is the bottom line and that is sagging.

By: jwk6179 on 8/6/13 at 1:49

John Glennon, along with Jim Wyatt, was one of the beat writers that covered the Titans for the Tennessean. The main difference between the two was John Glennon wasn't the consonant HOMER for the Titans that Jim Wyatt is. Could it be Glennon ruffled a few feathers at Titan Central by not being the consonant homer that Jim Wyatt, David Boclair, George Plaster and most of the other members of the Nashville Sports Media are?

By: spooky24 on 8/6/13 at 2:22

I have noticed all the canned stories that flood the paper-especially on Sunday. They will go down before they change their far, far left spin on the news.

Sometimes it's funny. Four or 5 stories on how GREAT the housing market is....followed by 4 or five pages of court ordered bankruptcy auctions.

Oh yea, "Builders Spotlight" that was canned from last year...they had already gone bankrupt.

so, funny stuff without the comics.

By: BigPapa on 8/7/13 at 12:50

jwk- this isnt a titans conspiracy. btw what would he write that would be so inflammatory? They havent even played yet, and they made big changes in the off season.

By: courier37027 on 8/7/13 at 3:54

NCP, it's been good to know you. May you reconsider and rise again. Likewise, fellow message board posters, our banter has been fun. Best wished to each of you. Courier37027.

By: govskeptic on 8/8/13 at 9:44

The Tennessean like all Gannett papers have Managers versus true News
people in the top spots. Making sure the Gannett template is being followed
along with pushing the advertising dept is priority 1,2, and 3. Their value,
readership, advertising and fairness toward anything slips day by day.