Post-Dispatch lays off 23

Approximately 10 percent of the newsroom cut.

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  1. Updated: Due to a union classification mix-up, a web editor was laid off Friday. He has been reinstated, and a news copy editor was laid off. The final count remains 23. (07.29.12)

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch laid off 23 employees Thursday and Friday.

    In the newsroom, four editors, three reporters, four copy editors, a photographer and the editorial cartoonist were laid off. Sports copy editor David Sheets tweeted he was got a phone call this morning.
  2. Deputy managing editor/news Steve Parker, photography director Larry Coyne, food editor Judy Evans and assistant metro editor Tim Bross were laid off late Thursday night.
  3. After 31 years, I am no longer an employee of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Like a number of others, I was part of the companywide layoffs that took place Thursday evening and today. For the past 10 years, I had the privilege of overseeing the Post-Dispatch's front page -- with some excellent guidance and coaching from countless colleagues. All in all, it's been a good run. I have the utmost respect for those I've worked with in the past at the Post-Dispatch, and those who remain. Best wishes. (pick up A copy.)
  4. In a memo to the staff, Post-Dispatch editor Gilbert Bailon blamed the economy: "We regret to announce that economic conditions caused the Post-Dispatch to lay off 13 newsroom employees."

    Outside the newsroom, another 10 employees were laid off in advertising and production departments.
  5. On Wednesday, Lee Enterprises, which owns the Post-Dispatch and the Suburban Journals of St. Louis, disclosed that CEO Mary Junck was given 500,000 shares of stock.
  6. Lee officials said the shares were awarded after they "concluded that Ms. Junck's compensation, including equity-based compensation, is substantially below that of her peers in the newspaper industry."
  7. A week earlier, Lee Enterprises reported a net loss of $1.5 million in its fiscal third quarter, which ended June 24. The company reported total revenue of $179.3 million for that quarter.
  8. In March, Junck was awarded a $500,000 bonus and Chief Financial Officer Carl Schmidt was awarded a $250,000 bonus for their work to refinance the bankrupt newspaper chain's debt. Layoffs were announced at Lee papers outside of the St. Louis area the same day the bonuses were announced.
  9. Previous layoffs

    On June 8, a Post-Dispatch advertising employee was laid off. Two weeks earlier, four copy editors, a photographer and an editor were laid off. 
  10. Two more employees were laid off in February.
  11. In 2011, 37 Post-Dispatch employees and 20 Suburban Journals employees were laid off. That same year, Lee executives received 30 percent increases in compensation. More than 450 Post-Dispatch and Journals employees have been laid off since 2008.
  12. Editor's note: I am a former Post-Dispatch employee; I resigned in April 2012. I also operate the Paper Cuts website (linked above), which is not as up-to-date as I'd like.