Telegraph announces more layoffs; printing moving to Columbus

The Telegraph’s printing operations are moving to Columbus, and 58 employees in production-related jobs at the newspaper will be laid off, Publisher George McCanless announced Thursday.

The moves, which will affect nearly 30 percent of the Telegraph’s work force, are expected to save the company more than $1 million a year, he said.

“The economy is not improving. Our business is based on the economy doing well,” he told a gathering of Telegraph employees. “Our revenues are down far more than we anticipated. ... We’ve got to make some changes to address this.”

Some of the people who are laid off at The Telegraph could find employment with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, he said. There are about 195 employees at The Telegraph.

The McClatchy newspaper chain, of which The Telegraph and the Columbus paper belong, aims to reduce expenses companywide by more than $100 million, McCanless said.

Shifting The Telegraph’s printing operations to Columbus won’t begin until April 7. The newspapers will be trucked back to Macon for distribution.

Each newspaper in the McClatchy chain was given a target amount in expense reductions. McCanless would not say what The Telegraph’s target goal is.

“As we’ve faced additional rounds of cost cutting, ... we’ve really had to dig deep to find fairly significant costs” to eliminate, he told employees.

Newspaper deadlines will be adjusted in order to preserve current delivery times for the paper, McCanless said.

McCanless also announced that McClatchy would be freezing its pension plan for current employees, and that the company’s contributions to employees’ 401(k) plan would be suspended temporarily after the first quarter of the year.