Last week, The Arkansas Project noted impending cutbacks at Stephens Media papers that were having a big effect on newsrooms in Arkansas. On Friday, blog commenter “In the Know” weighed in with a look at the cuts and their impact on Stephens employees in Arkansas. It seems pretty authoritative, so I’m promoting it to its own post:
The reduction in force is being felt companywide.
Between 50 and 100 people were asked to accept buyouts in Las Vegas. The buyouts in Washington – where Aaron Sadler and a Nevada beat reporter were let go – were mandatory, as were those at news bureaus in Little Rock, Honolulu and Carson City, Nevada.
By comparison, the Little Rock office fared the best among the bureaus. It lost one of several reporters. Carson City went from two to one and Honolulu’s one reporter is gone.
The only Washington reporter will now be expected to cover federal news for 11 daily newspapers in eight states.
It was 14 people cut at Fort Smith (no reporters), not the 16 as originally posted, as if it matters. Some folks that have been at that paper for a long time are now looking for new work. The other papers in Arkansas will also have casualties.
Meanwhile, the Argenta News blog has a look at how Stephens cutbacks have affected the North Little Rock Times, and forecasts dark times ahead for the weekly paper: “The product has suffered and the Times is losing their way as a local paper,” Scott Miller writes.
Any other news or observations to share on the Stephens cutbacks, layoffs, etc., leave ’em in the comments section.