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Six jobs cut at The Herald-Mail Co.

November 20, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- The Herald-Mail Co. has cut six jobs because of poor economic conditions, Editor and Publisher John League said Thursday.

Three of the jobs were in the newsroom and three were in the Advertising Department.

The six positions represented 4.5 percent of the company's work force, a drop from 132 jobs to 126 jobs.

League said the move was a difficult one, but was necessitated by the economy. Because the newspaper depends on advertisers' money, "when their business is bad, our business is bad," he said.

League said he has met with more than 130 advertisers this year and only three or four reported that business was better in 2008 than in 2007. Some said business was flat and many said it had dropped.

He said the cuts should help The Herald-Mail get through what might be several more months of difficult times.

"You gird for six to eight months of some rough sledding and hope for the best," he said.

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The cuts were announced to the staff Thursday.

In a statement that League prepared for his talk to the staff, he wrote, "Many of our advertisers are struggling. Unemployment is up. Businesses are cutting back. Some are closing. That impacts many local businesses, including The Herald-Mail.

"We needed to reduce expenses. Payroll is our No. 1 expense.

"The Herald-Mail is profitable. Today's actions are intended to keep it that way as we deal with a difficult local economy. Unfortunately, it looks like we're in for some rough times for the next six to eight months.

"This is the most agonizing, difficult decision a leader of any organization has to make. But you do so for the greater good of the company."

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