Cost-cutting measures that included a substantial reduction in local news reporters in New Jersey and across the U.S. has helped Gannett post a $40.7 million profit during the fourth quarter of 2022, despite a loss of nearly $96 million in revenues as compared to the last quarter of 2021, the company announced today.
But Gannett, which owns the nation’s largest chain of daily newspapers, including nine in New Jersey, lost $78 million last year.
Massive cost-cutting measures included over 400 layoffs, retirement incentives, a decision not to fill vacant positions, furloughs, and benefits reductions, which led to their first profitable quarter in years.
“This illustrates the effectiveness of our ongoing cost management program, which has enabled us to navigate the near-term volatility and we believe will allow Gannett to realize its long-term growth goals,” said Michael Reed, the Gannett CEO. “As a result, we believe we have laid the foundation for strong full year 2023 guidance which includes significant cash flow growth.”
Gannett stock is up 15% today to $2.97 per share, but that’s still down about 41% from its closing price one year ago.
In November, four days before a national election, Gannett employees staged a one-day strike to protest the company’s cost reduction policies.
In December, Gannett sent layoff notices to their Digital Optimization Team (DOT) divisions, including the entire Atlantic DOT Guild that manages websites in New Jersey and three other states, according to Poynter.
Many of the Gannett newspapers are down to skeleton crews, including the New Jersey Herald, Burlington County Times, Daily Record, Daily Journal, Courier News, Courier-Post, and the Home News Tribune.