April 2, 2009

Richmond, Va., newspaper announces layoffs

The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch Thursday announced it is laying off 59 employees, eliminating 31 open positions and delaying pay raises for non-union workers.

In a story posted on its Web site, the newspaper said the job cuts affect 11 of its departments, including editorial, news, production, circulation, marketing, business and advertising.

The newspaper said the jobs cut came in response to ad revenue losses -- including a loss of classified ad revenue -- and what it called a difficult economic environment. The job cuts will leave the Times-Dispatch with a work force of 602 full- and part-time employees, compared to 772 for the same period in 2008.

This is not a day I ever wanted to see come, said President and Publisher Thomas A. Silvestri. I thank each and every departing employee for their years of valued service that helped publish Richmond's daily newspapers.

The newspaper said it does not plan to cut back on the number of days it publishes, and will retain an emphasis on breaking local news and coverage of its core market in Central Virginia, where it said more than 80 percent of its readers live and work.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch and TimesDispatch.com are owned by Media General based in Richmond.