NEW YORK, May 9 (Reuters) - Gannett Co Inc (GCI.N) is offering buyouts to employees at most of its New Jersey newspapers, making it the latest U.S. newspaper publisher to try to lower expenses by cutting staff as it deals with an ongoing decline in advertising.
The buyout target is 166 full-time positions, and layoffs are possible if Gannett does not reach its target, Judy Dorsey, vice president of human resources at Gannett’s Asbury Park Press paper, said on Friday. She declined to say how many employees work for Gannett’s New Jersey papers.
To be eligible, employees must be 55 years or older and have worked for the company for at least 15 years, she said.
The papers offering the buyouts include the Asbury Park Press as well as the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, The Daily Journal in Vineland, the East Brunswick Home News Tribune and the Courier News in Bridgewater.
Gannett’s New Jersey papers join a growing list of companies offering buyouts or layoffs as they struggle to offset sharply declining ad revenue.
A Gannett spokeswoman declined to comment when asked if the publisher was offering buyouts in other states. Gannett publishes 84 local daily newspapers in the United States, as well as the national newspaper USA Today.
On Wednesday, The New York Times (NYT.N) said it would cut a small number of employees after failing to get 100 takers for its buyout program. The Washington Post WPO.N also has offered buyouts, and Tribune Co and McClatchy Co MNI.N are trimming jobs.
Gannett shares were down 6 cents at $29.26 in late Friday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Robert MacMillan; Editing by Toni Reinhold)