Belt-tightening at local papers

Cuts made to avoid layoffs

The down economy is hitting newspapers, too.

Employees of MediaNews Group—parent company of the Chico Enterprise-Record, Oroville Mercury-Register and Paradise Post, along with some 50 other California newspapers, will be required to take a week’s furlough by March 31, which amounts to a salary reduction of about 12 percent over the next two months of the quarter.

The cuts come on the heels of a streamlining move that saw two Northern California MNG publishers lose their jobs, including the E-R’s Wolf Rosenberg. E-R Managing Editor David Little told the CN&R in an e-mail message that he didn’t know why Rosenberg was let go but said the changes did save money.

The goal of the furloughs, Little wrote, is to get the company “through the quarter so we don’t have to eliminate jobs.”

The Chico News & Review and its sister papers, the Sacramento N&R and the Reno N&R, also are trimming expenses. In the CN&R newsroom, work hours have been reduced 10 percent in order to avoid layoffs, and other cost-saving measures have been instituted.