The Omaha World-Herald eliminated 43 jobs Tuesday, including letting 24 employees go, and will reduce the number of pages in the newspaper starting next week.
Phil Taylor, president of The World-Herald, said 2018 started with declining advertising from national retailers. “Despite our best efforts, we are unable to cover these losses without significant cost savings,” he said.
Newsprint costs also are rising, he said.
In the newsroom, the cuts included six open jobs and 11 employees who were told Tuesday that their jobs were ending, leaving a news staff of more than 100. The company said the employees affected will receive severance pay in line with their years of service.
“No additional workforce reductions are planned at this time,” Taylor said.
The World-Herald’s website, Omaha.com, will continue to carry all of the latest news from the metro area and region.
Meanwhile, The World- Herald’s parent company, Omaha-based BH Media, on Tuesday also announced expense-saving measures at other properties across the U.S. Those measures included staff reductions affecting 148 people at BH Media newspapers and the elimination of 101 vacant positions, figures that include the reductions at The World-Herald.
The total number of jobs affected represents about 6 percent of BH Media’s workforce.
BH Media Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Kroeger said a large number of regional and national clients have cut back on advertising because of disruptions to their businesses caused by online shopping.
Kroeger, who also is publisher of The World-Herald, said the advertising revenue declines are a “harsh reality” of an industry where change is accelerating.
At The World-Herald, other changes will be made to the printed edition: The Money section will be produced separately on Saturdays and Sundays, with business-related content in the front or “A” section on Mondays through Fridays.
The Living section will run Thursdays through Sundays, with features content inside the Midlands section on other days.
As it faces a business moving quickly toward digital media consumption, BH Media Group is testing new digital business models built around revenue earned from readers, the company said.
In 2017, the company said its digital products generated 1.3 billion page views, an increase of 22 percent from the previous year.
“The data suggest our industry is changing, not dying,” Kroeger said. “Our news content has never been more important than it is right now.”
BH Media, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, owns 31 daily newspapers and websites, including The World-Herald, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Tulsa World. It also owns weekly publications and the ABC television affiliate in Miami.
Taylor said the newspaper industry is changing.
“We must adapt to meet the expectations of our readers and advertising customers,” he said. “Our newsroom is still equipped to provide high-quality journalism. Fact-based reporting is as important today as any point in our history. Our newsroom reports stories no competitor can match. That will continue.”