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N&O Publishing Co. to cut 10 jobs

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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, 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."


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more joining the ranks of

more joining the ranks of those called "The Disposable Americans" in the book by the same name by NY Times reporter Louis Utechelle. These layoffs are increasing utilization of mental health services.

Employment is not like a marriage

My uncle said once you should never stay in a job longer than ten years, regardless. The employer does not care for you--you are hired to do a job, and that's all. It's best to keep it platonic, and to move on when you decide it's time. Steer clear of environments where personal issues trump work, and where people gossip all day and decide if you are in or out of the clique. Watch out for sociopaths--they make up one in four of the population, and they are deadly to your mental health and to your career. Keep your guard up, but be pleasant.
And, of course, it is always best to create your own business, especially if you are a hard worker and results-oriented. Otherwise, you can work for the government.

So are you trying to say something

So are you trying to say something to me? That department was like a revolving door. I worked there 2 years and they had numerous people leave. I saw over 30 people leave and most was because of the attitude of management.

Karma, Things have a way of working out

As a former N & O employee in the late 90,s. I saw this coming. I worked in the transportation dept and the attitude of that dept s management was employees were like tires on a truck, they can be replaced at anytime for little or no reason. I often wonder when I hear of the cuts if the N & O cleaned house in that depts management?

reply to former transportation worker:

Actually, the N&O outsourced the entire transportation department last year. I assume all the department management went with it.


For those ten being laid off, Obama will send you to a Michigan community college to be retrained as an ACORN employee.

yo slim ..... you got any

yo slim ..... you got any recommendations of who to be let go? Remember they say ten are going, not me.

BTW .... I saw the inevitable dangers of being "employed" by someone else's decision years ago. Self-employed is the only way to go. There'a no one else to blame but yourself. I realize that concept of personal accountability is alien to those of a certain mindset.


Go, N&O. Sympathy to those being let go.

More cuts?

But McClatchy just reported profits that had doubled from last year. What is management at the N&O doing to burn through all that extra money?

Fire Agent Pee

I think the N&O should hire Agent Pee then lay him off ten times. It might not save any money but I would pay to see the guy fired and I would pay even more to watch him tell his family he just lost his job.

Let Readers Vote!

How about doing this like American Idol. Let readers pick which 10. I know that sounds cold and heartless but ten are going to be cut regardless.

It may surprise some that I say "KEEP Barry" ...... but Steve Ford can take one for the team.

If an executive gets canned I vote Andy Curliss gets that empty office and parking space.

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About the blogger

Jonathan B. Cox joined the N&O in 2002 from Bloomberg News in Washington. He currently covers the economy and economic development but is fascinated by just about every business topic. A native of Asheboro, he holds an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Contact Jonathan at 919-836-4948 or email