- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The News & Observer Publishing Co. said Monday it will reduce wages for many employees, impose unpaid furloughs and eliminate 11 percent of its work force, including 27 newsroom positions at its flagship newspaper in Raleigh.

In a story posted on the Web site of The News & Observer, the company said declining advertising revenue led to the decision.

The media company, a subsidiary of the McClatchy Co., owns community publications such as The Cary News and The Herald in Smithfield. The cuts had been expected after McClatchy announced last week a 15 percent job reduction throughout the company.

The layoffs at the News & Observer company amount to 78 positions. Remaining employees will have to take a week off without pay.

The News & Observer also reported salaries will be cut up to 10 percent for those making at least $25,000.

“We are making our way through difficult times by making difficult decisions,” News & Observer Publisher Orage Quarles III said in a staff memo. “It is never easy to say goodbye to so many of our friends and colleagues, but we must make these additional cuts to sustain our company and adjust to new competitive and economic realities.”

Since May, the newspaper has reduced staff through buyouts, layoffs and attrition. It also has cut costs by combining sections and by increased cooperation with The Charlotte Observer, also a McClatchy publication.

Quarles said the newspaper will further increase cooperation with the Charlotte newspaper and will speed its transition to a narrower format to save on production costs.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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