The News & Observer Publishing Co. will eliminate another 10 positions as the media company continues to struggle with slumping ad sales.
Publisher Orage Quarles III, who oversees The N&O, newsobserver.com and community publications including The Cary News and The Chapel Hill News, told employees in an e-mail Monday that executives hoped July would be a turning point after months of revenue declines.
"But that was not the case," he wrote. "We continue to make our way through an extremely challenging time."
Of the 10 positions cut, one was in the newsroom.
The N&O, like many newspaper companies, has been hammered by the economic downturn that has eroded spending on job, auto and real estate advertisements. The company, which is owned by The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento, Calif., has reduced staffing and newsprint — its two largest expenses — since the spring of 2008 to offset steep declines in revenue.
In an earnings report last week, McClatchy suggested that the worst might be over. Even with a 25 percent drop in revenue, McClatchy said quarterly profit doubled amid tight expense controls. Chief Executive Gary Pruitt told investors that ad sales improved during the quarter.
"Despite the encouraging news our parent company delivered to Wall Street last week and a few faint signs that the economy might be on the mend, our revenues are falling short of expectations," Quarles wrote. "It is essential that we meet our budget for the remaining months of 2009."