McClatchy slashes 10 percent more jobs, cuts dividend
NEW YORK (Reuters) - McClatchy Co will slash 10 percent of its workforce for the second time this year and is cutting its dividend as the U.S. newspaper publisher struggles with punishing advertising revenue declines.
McClatchy said it would cut about 1,150 full-time positions, with about half coming through buyouts and attrition. The announcement comes three months after McClatchy said it would cut about 1,400 jobs.
The company expects the cuts, which were announced after a board meeting on Tuesday, to save it $100 million over the next four quarters, excluding $20 million in severance costs.
"It is painful to announce these staff reductions, but the continued restructuring of our company is necessary given the relentless economic downturn and its impact on our business," Chief Executive Gary Pruitt said in a statement.
McClatchy also sliced its third-quarter dividend in half to 9 cents a share, compared with the second quarter.
"We believe this action is in the best interest of our equity and debt investors," Pruitt said.
McClatchy also reported a 15.7 percent drop in August 2008 revenue, with advertising revenue falling 17.8 percent compared with August 2007.
Revenue for the first eight months of the year fell 15 percent and ad revenue fell 16.7 percent.
"August advertising activity turned out to be stronger than recent months," Chief Financial Officer Pat Talamantes said in a separate statement.
Online ad revenue rose 11.2 percent in the first eight months of 2008 and rose 7.4 percent in August compared with last year.
McClatchy shares fell 8.8 percent to $3.10 in after-hours trading after closing up 2 cents to $3.40 on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Robert Macmillan; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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