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Journal News fires five staff writers

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After Gannett Co. announced on Monday that it would cut 2 percent of its workforce nationwide, five employees at The Journal News in White Plains were let go Tuesday afternoon, including longtime award-winning columnist Phil Reisman.

Also fired were longtime sports writer Rick Carpiniello and beat writer Chad Jennings, along with investigative reporter Adrienne Sanders and staff writer Jenny Higgons.

In an article on lohud.com, the newspaper’s website, it stated that Reisman’s position would not be filled. Over his nearly 40 years with the paper, Reisman won numerous Gannett and Associated Press awards for his columns that often skewered sacred cows as well as for his editing. As the metro editor, he led  the paper’s coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island in July 1996. The coverage earned him and the team an award from the Deadline Club, the New York City chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists.

Carpiniello covered the New York Rangers for the paper since 1978. He is the author of three books on the team.

Executive Editor Traci Bauer was quoted in the online post: “It is a difficult day for the newsroom as we struggle with the realities of transformation. It’s important we stay focused on the journalism and serving the community, even as we grieve the loss of incredibly committed colleagues.”

Bauer will become a regional editor for Gannett, overseeing the Poughkeepsie Journal as well as The Journal News.

At the Poughkeepsie Journal, seven full-time employees were let go Tuesday, including Executive Editor Stu Shinske. The Poughkeepsie paper did not disclose the names of the other fired employees.

In the second quarter, net income for Gannett fell 77 percent to $12.3 million as the company had one-time expenses related to severance and acquisition costs, and advertising revenue came in flat at $409.8 million, according to USAToday.

As it makes the cuts, Gannett is reportedly still pursuing the purchase of Tronc, formerly known as Tribune Publishing. It owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and nine other dailies.

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The changes will stick much to the chagrin of myself and others; if your numbers are down it is because the makeup and content of the Journal News is tragic. It is a poor excuse for a newspaper. Ask an independent consultant to give an honest evaluation. I’d be happy to provide details of what is so objectionable about this newspaper.

  2. Firing Phil Reisman and Carpiniello was the worse thing you could do. They were both the “best part” of the reading the paper. I am seriously considering cancelling my subscription, as there are plenty of other avenues to get local news these days. I’m sure there was a more creative way to cut costs, raise readership and keep both of these writers!

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