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Mercury News to cut newsroom staff by 40

The Mercury News will reduce its newsroom staff by 40 positions through layoffs that will take place in July, the company announced Tuesday.

The reduction - a nearly 17 percent cut - will leave the paper with 200 newsroom positions, down from a peak seven years ago of about 400.

The cuts are in response to declining advertising revenues, said Executive Editor Carole Leigh Hutton.

"Revenue is not growing in the Mercury News," Hutton told the staff at a meeting Tuesday to announce the layoffs. "We have to offset some of that revenue loss with cost cuts."

Since 2000, the newspaper's revenues have declined 36 percent. This will be the third news-staff reduction in 18 months at the Mercury News, which gave buyouts to 52 staff members in November 2005 and laid off 15 in December 2006.

"We have to look to the future and figure out how we are going to transform ourselves to a new platform," said Newspaper Guild local President Sylvia Ulloa. "If we're smart, we're going to invest in our people, we're not going to cut them. That's where the future lies."

The announcement comes as the San Francisco Chronicle eliminates 100 newsroom jobs, a reduction forced by losses estimated to be running approximately $1 million a week.

Hutton said Tuesday that the Mercury News is still profitable. The layoffs are intended to counter further projected declines in revenue. The Mercury News is part of a Bay Area-wide group that has more than 800 newsroom employees at 16 newspapers.

In the face of increasing competition, the newspaper industry has been swept by a wave of layoffs and ownership changes in recent months.

The Mercury News' former owner, Knight Ridder, was sold to McClatchy of Sacramento in 2006. MediaNews acquired the Mercury News and Contra Costa Times from McClatchy later that year, making them part of its California Newspapers Partnership with Gannett and Stephens Media.

Contact Pete Carey at or (408) 920-5419.

Date posted: June 20, 2007 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 108