Gannett will lay off their Digital Optimization Team (DOT) divisions, including the entire Atlantic DOT Guild that manages website in New Jersey and three other state, according to Poynter.
This is part of a plan to layoff about 200 employees at Gannett-owned newspapers across the U.S. yesterday and today – about six percent of their workforce.
The decision to wipe out the team entirely comes eighteen months after they voted to unionize and form the Atlantic DOT Guild. It will be up to individual newspapers to decide if they want to hire digital producers within their own staff budgets.
Jack McLoone, the Atlantic DOT Guild chairman, told Poynter that a majority of employees who attended a meeting on Thursday had received layoff notices.
“Gannett has done nothing to deserve any of the great talent it employs at pennies on the dollar, so of course it can’t even see that and are kicking some of the best to the curb today,” McLoone said on Twitter.
According to Poynter, Gannett created the DOT unit in 2020. Before that, each newspaper had their own digital staffs.
Facing severe financial problems, the national newspaper chain had already cut laid off 400 employees this year. Another 400 vacant positions remain unfilled.