Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Final Count: 17 People Let Go at News-Press

That number of 17 people is from a press release Ampersand Publishing, the News-Press' parent, issued this afternoon. They are spinning this as a "reorganization."

Besides shutting down the Goleta Valley Voice they are also closing Valley Living which serves Santa Ynez.

More news as I get it.

6:20 pm Update: No newsroom staff are among the 17 who have been laid off.

Here is the text of the press release from Ampersand:

Ampersand Publishing LLC, owner of the Santa Barbara News-Press announced today the reorganization of its printing, production and sales departments and the consolidation of its news-gathering operations.

Under the new operational structure, the News-Press will be expanding coverage in the Goleta and Santa Ynez valleys, Montecito, and Carpinteria. Valley Living and the Goleta Valley Voice, both Ampersand publications, will now be incorporated and expanded into the daily pages of the Santa Barbara News-Press. With this restructuring, 17 positions have been eliminated.

Director of News Operations, Don Katich, said: Santa Barbara, Goleta and the Santa Ynez Valley remain our core news product. This reorganization will provide us the structure and resources necessary to provide the quantity and quality of relevant and topical news that is not currently served by our weekly products or by other media.

Co-publisher, Arthur von Wiesenberger, said: The economic forces affecting the newspaper industry are not limited to the News-Press or Santa Barbara. The challenges we face as an industry require a rededication to our core product. The actions taken today were necessary as we respond to our ever-changing industry.