After coronavirus furloughs, Gannett newspapers laid off journalists around the country

Layoffs included a reporter who was nine months pregnant and a photographer who just lost his house in a tornado. 

 Experts fear that after newspaper layoffs amid coronavirus, many places may never return to normal. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Kristen Hare and Ren LaForme | Poynter

Layoffs were underway Friday at Gannett, which merged with GateHouse in late 2019 to become the largest newspaper chain in the U.S. with 261 newspapers in 46 states.

We don’t yet have a clear picture of how many people and positions were affected and will update this story when we do.

It’s unclear if the layoffs are in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus or the result of the merger with Gatehouse, though one source told Poynter the cuts relate to the GateHouse/Gannett integration and that sites with overlap were getting the cuts. Gannett executives told The New York Times in November that they would look for “efficiencies” after the merger.

A Gannett company spokesperson didn’t provide a number or a reason for the layoffs, but did email Poynter this: “We remain steadfast in our efforts to integrate our new company in order to realize the full potential of our combined resources and scale to sustain and preserve quality journalism for the long-term. The moves, while imperative, are tough. The elimination of any job and the loss of valued colleagues is deeply felt.”

Meanwhile, around the country, local and national newsrooms have been hit by furloughs, layoffs and closures because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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