Bee to cut 25 jobs

The Sacramento Bee and other McClatchy newspapers are making another round of job cuts.

The Bee announced Monday it will cut 25 people by month’s end, while McClatchy newspapers including North Carolina’s News & Observer and The State in South Carolina announced additional layoffs. The total number of layoffs at the country’s third largest newspaper company was not available.

Reporters will not be among those cut at The Bee, although the paper will lose a photojournalist, two copy editors, two designers and two others in the newsroom, said Pam Dinsmore, the paper’s community affairs director.

"We’ve made the decision that the reporting staff — that’s not a place that can go down in any numbers," Dinsmore said.

Currently, 71 reporters work in The Bee’s newsroom and Capitol Bureau, and total newsroom staff numbers 197, she said.

Bee management will offer buyouts to trim positions in four departments: 16 in audience development and membership services, one in human resources and one in advertising, in addition to the seven newsroom cuts. Employees will be offered a maximum of 40 weeks’ pay, depending on how long they worked at The Bee, Dinsmore said.

"It’s a pretty generous severance package," she said.

The Bee will lay people off to meet the goal of cutting 25 by Jan. 29 if enough buyouts are not taken. These are the fourth round of cuts in about 18 months. McClatchy cut 15 percent of its workforce last spring. Before that, the company had already cut more than 4,000 positions, or a third of its employees, in about a year.

On Monday, The Bee also jointly announced it will team up with Capital Public Radio over the next year to offer a series of stories exploring Sacramento’s attempts to pull out of the recession. The two news agencies will coordinate the project, which they described as the first of its kind for Northern California. Reporters will work on stories for their own agencies rather than collaborate to produce joint stories.

“We’re looking forward to this ongoing collaboration with Capital Public Radio," said Joyce Terhaar, The Bee’s managing editor for content, in a prepared statement. "We each bring different expertise to the partnership that augments what we offer readers online."

The Bee lifted a wage freeze last month and has hired three people since November. Two journalists, one from the Los Angeles Times and the other from the Boston Globe, joined the editorial board this month.

McClatchy owns 30 daily papers and dozens of non-dailies, among other interests.

A representative of the Bee’s Newspaper Guild unit could not be reached for comment.


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January 12, 2010 | 8:28 PM

Yeah – They need to start by getting rid of Denny Walsh their court reporter who sleeps during the case & then makes up the stories.

January 12, 2010 | 10:54 PM

Although the fantastic work of other outlets, like this one and N&R is a boon, this is a serious problem in our country …

January 13, 2010 | 12:32 PM

Newpapers made a serious mistake by staying in the “paper business” and not focusing on the “news” business.

January 13, 2010 | 7:47 PM

Too bad. The news business is only going to grow now with the proliferation of handheld readers. I believe those who make it through this transitional phase are going to prosper. Apple’s Slate produce may change everything.

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