In the financial world they say that past performance is no indicator of future results, but in the newspaper business these days what’s past is prologue.
A couple of weeks ago New Media Investments purchased all of Stephens Media’s newspapers, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal. New Media, which rose from the ashes of the bankruptcy of GateHouse Media, previously purchased all of Halifax Media from Stephens Capital Partners, different company but same owners largely.
One of the papers, the Star-News in Wilmington, N.C., reported:
“The StarNews laid off an unknown number of employees Tuesday as part of workforce reductions that took place across the group of former Halifax Media newspapers. Details have not been made public.
“The StarNews is one of 36 newspapers under the Halifax Media banner. Halifax recently was purchased by GateHouse Media’s parent, New Media Investment Group, for $280 million.”
They must have laid off the copyeditor who would have changed “unknown” to “unstated.”
Romenesko posted copies of a number of emails he received reporting layoffs at several newspapers owned by New Media. The layoffs hit across the board in the newsrooms — photogs, copyeditors, cop reporters, sports reporters, bureaus, assistant city editors, assistant managing editors, features editors, layout artists, as well as staff in IT, advertising and marketing. One paper reportedly laid off “the editorial writer.”
Stephens sold the Halifax papers in November, the layoffs come in March, so mark your calendars, R-J staffers, for four months hence. What’s past is prologue.