Gannett Company, which owns USA Today is closing down its Sunday supplement USA Weekend magazine, and pink-slipping about 30 employees as the magazine bites the dust. USA Today president and publisher Larry Kramer sent this memo* to staffers Friday.
Gannett’s flagship newspaper implemented major layoffs in September, cutting an estimated 70 employees following news that the paper’s owner would spin-off and separate its publishing business from its broadcasting and digital entity. In May 2011, the company underwent an even more ‘radical’ overhaul cutting about 9 percent, or 130 employees, in an attempt to focus on its digital strategy.
The efforts are intended to offset sharply plummeting advertising, depleting the newspaper’s main income stream. Escalating the problem, fewer readers are willing to pay for newspapers as free news is easily and instantly available via the Internet.
Under Kramer, who became USA Today’s publisher in 2012, the paper has been aggressively focused on the less costly digital front.
Gannett is the parent company of the struggling, radically leftist, Arizona Republic, which is continually pleading with its remaining readers to “Go deeper with digital. Great reads. Rich databases. Interactive features.” Besides routinely insulting the intelligence of its readers, it has drastically increased its price, driving more to seek their news elsewhere.
The last issue of the continually shrinking tabloid-sized USA Weekend magazine insert will be Dec. 28 —– when it will vanish entirely.
*H/T Jim Romenesko’s media blog.