Bloodbath at Sixth and Broadway

Word came down hard at the Courier-Journal today.

While the paper has experienced serious rounds of layoffs before, the jobs eliminated at the C-J “hit the newsroom hard” according to a source who was there. The cuts were “much more than expected.”

Unofficially, more than 50 people were laid off, including two dozen in the newsroom. The future of Velocity and HerScene, in particular, is now in jeopardy, according to a newsroom source, since the staffs of those operations were gutted. Laid off employees are gathering tonight at Zanzabar to drown their sorrows, according to reports on Facebook.

Insider Louisville had this on the layoffs earlier today. And here’s a memo sent to staffers from Arnold Garson, the C-J publisher.

The attached letter is from Bob Dickey, president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division. It announces a company-wide job elimination program, which will occur today, and, which, unfortunately, will include Louisville. We do recognize how difficult this is for our employees. But the simple reality is that the economy has not rebounded as rapidly as we had hoped. We are doing everything possible to generate revenue and we are having some successes, including circulation sales, a recent sales rally initiative and some very nice local advertising contract sales. But overall, many advertisers continue to cut back and and several key segments of the economy remain troubled. In Louisville, job creation, perhaps the most important key to economic recovery, has lagged what is going on in many comparable cities. Our revenue is not meeting expectations. Given this unfortunate set of circumstances, payroll reduction is the only option we have to keep expenses in line with revenue.

We plan to notify affected employees today and will let all employees know when the process is completed.