EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham News cuts salaries through 2010, eliminates most part-time positions

Most part-time positions eliminated; furloughs ended

Media of Birmingham learned through Twitter that the Birmingham News is cutting salaries. Our newsroom sources indicate that salaries will be cut 5 to 8 percent, based on salary level, through 2010.


Also, the News has offered voluntary buyouts to employees with five or more years experience. The newspaper offered its first ever round of buyouts in 2008 and started mandatory furloughs and a benefits freeze in March.

The News has ended its furloughs.

In addition, the News is cutting most part-time positions in the coming months. No word on how many positions will be affected.


Lastly, it appears that the News is dropping internships, too, according to a Twitter update from University of Georgia student Daniel Shirey.

The budget cuts come at an odd time: While print and online readership are both up for the Birmingham News, advertising remains down.

Also: Kyle Whitmire at the Birmingham Weekly has more specifics on the salary cuts. The Weekly is also reporting that the Birmingham News will close suburban bureaus by the end of summer.

Update: Publisher Victor Hanson III says, “It is imperative that we maintain a robust, independent voice for news and commentary in Birmingham, as well as an effective vehicle for our advertisers.” (Birmingham News: “Birmingham News announces employee pay cuts”)

• • •


Also, Anniston-based Consolidated Publishing cut salaries 10 percent today for all employees at all of its newspapers, including the Anniston Star, (Talladega) Daily Home and the Jacksonville News. The news comes from a series of tweets by Daily Home reporter Katherine Poythress.

The Star laid off 15 employees in November.

8 responses to “EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham News cuts salaries through 2010, eliminates most part-time positions

  1. Don’t know why this shocks as much as it does. This is scary. It’s too much, too fast.

  2. Pingback: Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » June 4, 2009: A day, anyway

  3. It’s scary now. It may be even scarier in 3 months if this doesn’t stop the bleeding.

  4. Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Southern Living lays off editorial staffers « Media of Birmingham

  5. I doubt when Kpoythress, whoever she is, was tweeting that about her own job, she imagined someone would be so thoughtless as to just post every tweet she made.

    Did you ask her for permission? I am sure you did not. For a media blog to be so reckless, and thougthless, is in excusable. And I’m tweeting that.

  6. No permission needed: Katherine Poythress, as she lists herself on her public Twitter page, is a “reporter for the Sylacauga, Ala. bureau of The Daily Home, a newspaper covering Talladega and St. Clair counties in Central Alabama.” That info comes from her public blog, linked from her public Twitter page.

    Not sure how linking to info widely available to anyone on the Web is “reckless and thoughtless.” It would have more reckless, in our opinion, not to list sources for our reporting.

    Feel free to explain your concerns, or tweet about this post.

  7. Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham News could face layoffs by February « Media of Birmingham

  8. Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham News offers buyouts to employees across the board « Media of Birmingham

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