Layoffs Planned With Merger of Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com Newsrooms

Layoffs Planned With Merger of Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com Newsrooms

Newspapers are struggling nationally with declining readership and adverting and, in some cases, increased costs. This hit home locally as the owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and the website Philly.com announced plans to combine the three news outlets in one newsroom.  

Philadelphia Media Network (PMN) said the move will involve the layoff of 46 members of the Newspaper Guild Local 10, effective December 4, according to a Guild memo. The merged newsroom and layoffs, announced October 30 by Publisher Terry Egger, are part of a plan to save the company several million dollars. The layoffs will effect more than 10 percent of the total 438 union members employed by Philadelphia Media Network.

Egger said the company has lost $90 million in advertising revenue since 2011 and the newsroom merger and job cuts were necessary to reduce expenses. In its statement, PMN said, "We are not unique to this economic reality, as evidenced by similar moves in recent weeks by media companies ranging from ESPN, Twitter and multiple newspaper companies."

Both the Inquirer and Daily News have been owned by a number of people and/or companies through the years and as recently as March 2014 the owner then, Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC, filed for bankruptcy protection. So financial problems are not a new phenomenon for these publications, both of which have a long and distinguished history.

The Inquirer, initially known as The Pennsylvania Inquirer, was launched June 1, 1829, when Andrew Jackson was President. It became the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1859, when America had just 24 states and the territories of Michigan and Kansas were pushing for admittance. 

The Daily News, a tabloid newspaper, was started in March 1925 and was initially printed by The Jewish World because it didn't have presses of its own at the time. In 1957, the Daily News was sold to Walter Annenberg, who also owned the Inquirer. Over the years the newspapers have won a number of awards, including as many as 20 Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in reporting.