Four newsroom employees were among 19 who lost their jobs in the latest rounds of Gannett-ordered cuts at the Springfield News-Leader.
Veteran columnist Sarah Overstreet, whose work was once nationally syndicated, was the most recognizable name among the cuts. According to sources at the News-Leader, Ms. Overstreet was given no warning, just a thanks for your decades of service, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Others given the heave-ho by the News-Leader top brass were Graphics Editor John Dengler, National News Editor Ed Peaco and Features Editor Jan Peterson.
Ironically, Gannett's butchery is taking place at a time when the company is still raking in sizable profits, though perhaps not the kind of margins it enjoyed in the past:
Thomas Bookstaver, president and publisher of the News-Leader Media Group, said the separations are difficult.
"Like most businesses in our community, we are adjusting our work force to match the current business conditions. It's difficult to reduce your work force and eliminate the jobs for people who have made valuable contributions to this company, but we must."
The Gannett Blog, an independent site which covers all company news, revealed in a Nov 28 post, that the News-Leader had an almost unheard of 37.5 percent profit margin, the third highest among Gannett's daily newspapers.