Will new owner Halifax Media Group lay off anyone from the New York Times Regional Media Group?
The Atlantic Monthly's Atlantic Wire blog has an interesting post on the latest wrinkle at the newly-sold group of newspapers once known as the New York Times Regional Media Group.
According to their post, and insider has provided an email received by many employees across the chain, which was recently purchased by Halifax Media, telling them their jobs would be continued over into the new company. The group of acquired newspapers includes the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Lakeland Ledger and the Gainesville Sun; Halifax already owns the Daytona Beach News Journal.
Industry experts wondered whether the sale would presage widespread layoffs at newspapers, which might be looking to save money by cutting costs. The Atlantic post indicates that may not happen; their tipster says he or she does not know anyone who wasn't told their job would be continued.
I wondered about that notion when the deal was first announced weeks ago. The recent pattern of such acquisitions has not necessarily resulted in massive layoffs -- mostly because the few newspapers now changing ownership have already been cut close to the bone.
Creative Loafing made a similar move in October, selling off its papers in Tampa and Charlotte, N.C. in a move that allowed a smaller company to pay a bargain price to expand its alternative newspaper business. Back then, the change didn't result in massive layoffs, though it was unclear how the new owners expected to make money in ways the old owners couldn't.
Similar questions arise here. And, as we have seen too often, the newspaper companies involved offer far less transparency than their coverage elicits from companies they cover.