The Palm Beach Post, privately held by an Atlanta family with three members on the Forbes 400 richest Americans, is laying off “more than 20 employees today, according to a memo exclusively obtained by Gossip Extra.
In an email sent an hour ago to the entire company in West Palm Beach, Publisher Tim Burke made it clear more layoffs could come soon as the newspaper’s umbrella company, Cox Newspapers, continues to contract during the economic downturn.
Today’s unexpected cuts from a staff that’s already stretched thin include four newsroom workers, including two who work mainly for the newspaper’s website, pbpost.com.
And among those pushed out the door is Edgar Thompson, who covered pro golf. Traditionally, the paper considered golf a key beat to attract advertising in the PGA Tour‘s home state and an area that legends of the game like Tiger Woods and Greg Norman call home.
The paper’s website has yet to announce the layoffs. In 2008, the Post laid off 300 employees from a staff of 1,300.
Cards on the table: I left the Post in April after seven fun years.
Click on (more) to see Burke’s email:
“From: Burke, Tim (CMG-WestPalm)
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 11:52 AM
To: All PBNI Employees
Subject: Important Company Announcement from Tim
To all employees:
There is never a good time or the right words to let you know we have informed more than 20 of our employees that their jobs are being eliminated.
Unfortunately, the latest economic downturn forced us to adjust our recently completed 2012 budget projections and say goodbye to our colleagues and friends. Though we are beginning to rebound from some tough summer months, we are still projecting year-over-year declines in revenues next year that necessitate this difficult decision.
Many of those affected will be leaving today, while several other employees will be staying between now and the end of the year to ensure a smooth hand-off of responsibilities. You will hear from your direct supervisor how these departures affect you or your department.
I realize this news is unsettling, especially in light of the NOM project involving the consolidation of various functions at our newspapers. These changes we are making in the short term are due to our own location needs and are not tied directly to NOM. Though there has been a slight delay in finalizing recommendations, I still expect to be able to give you a full update on the consolidation project by month’s end.
Every employee who is leaving us as a result of today’s announcement is being provided with financial assistance and transition resources through Human Resources, including the opportunity to apply for positions at other Cox properties. Our newspapers and Cox Media Group will continue to treat our employees with dignity and sensitivity. I also know and expect that all of you will show your colleagues the utmost respect, and wish them the best.
I will continue to communicate with you promptly. Please don’t hesitate to speak with me, your manager or any member of the senior team if you have questions or need more information.
Timothy D. Burke
Publisher and Executive Editor
The Palm Beach Post
Cox Conserves. Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.
Contents of this e-mail may be confidential and proprietary. Use discretion when forwarding.”
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