Layoff Rumors Prove Reality: AJC Cuts 30% of Staff

This morning, the AJC announced plans to downsize from 323 full-time employees to 230.  That’s a 28.79% reduction in staff…which they round up to 30%.  The paper also announced another reduction in distribution area, eliminating service in Barrow, Bibb, Clarke, Houston, Monroe, Oconee and Putnam Counties.

As the article points out, the AJC had around 500 staffers in 2006.  By May, they’ll have only 230.  That’s a 54% decline in three years.

So how does the AJC plan to survive?  This paragraph from a letter sent to staff by AJC editor Julia Wallace sums it up…

Our mission and goals remain the same. We need to continue to grow digital. We need to produce a very high-quality Sunday newspaper, filled with unique local content. And we must produce a daily newspaper that quickly and efficiently tells our readers the news of the day of and the news coming up.

The focus on local is reassuring.  The lack of ad dollars online is not.

Will the AJC be able to right the ship?  And how many people will be left if/when it does?  Its become a gripping news story in itself.

h/t:  Fresh Loaf