Allentown, Seattle newspapers will cut jobs

NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - A daily newspaper owned by Tribune Co and one minority owned by McClatchy Co MNI.N will cut a small number of jobs, joining the growing ranks of U.S. newspapers slicing staff as they try to rein in costs.

The Seattle Times plans to lay off 17 employees in its circulation department and make other cuts in an attempt to save $21 million, the paper reported in Wednesday’s edition.

It also plans to cut 69 more jobs through attrition, the paper reported. Fifty-five of those positions are unfilled, the paper said. No newsroom layoffs are planned, the paper said.

A Times spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment on the plans, or say how many people work at the paper.

The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, plans to cut 10 positions, according to a memo posted on the Romenesko journalism blog on Wednesday and confirmed by a source at the paper who is not authorized to speak for the paper and declined to be identified.

The Blethen family owns 50.5 percent of the Times. McClatchy, which publishes the Miami Herald and the Sacramento Bee, owns the rest.

Morning Call officials could not be reached for comment. It is unclear how many people work for the paper. A list on the Web site includes more than 150 editorial staff and more than 70 business staff.

The paper is owned by Tribune, which went private in an $8.2 billion deal led by Chicago billionaire investor Sam Zell.

Tribune is under pressure to find ways to keep costs down after taking on billions of dollars in debt to restructure the company under an employee stock ownership plan.

Most U.S. newspapers are coping with falling circulation as more people get their news online. That and fears of a recession amid a poor housing market have contributed to a drop in print advertising sales that keep newspapers afloat.

Many papers, including some owned by Tribune, have used buyouts, layoffs and attrition to shave costs off the bottom line.

Online advertising sales are rising, but most analysts and experts who follow the business say it will be several years at least until Internet ad growth compensates for print’s decline. (Editing by Andre Grenon)