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August 17, 2022

Gannett layoffs hit smaller Central Mass. newsrooms, MetroWest Daily

Photo | Timothy Doyle The Telegram & Gazette has been impacted by the poor financial performance of its parent company, Gannett.

Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper chain and owner of Worcester’s Telegram & Gazette, Framingham’s MetroWest Daily News as well as several other local papers, has laid off personnel across its publishing empire, including at multiple Central Massachusetts publications. 

Gannett announced it would perform the layoffs after a $54-million loss in second quarter financials. The layoffs began to hit newsrooms across the country on Friday.

The Gannett corporate office told WBJ in a Wednesday email that The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the MetroWest Daily News, the Milford Daily News, and the Leominster Champion newsrooms were not impacted by the layoffs.

However, WBJ found on Thursday that MetroWest Daily News in Framingham lost a four-year sports reporter, Ethan Winter to layoffs.

"A sports reporter was indeed impacted, and we regret that we shared inaccurate information," wrote Gannett in a Thursday email.

Gannett’s smaller publications in Central Massachusetts were hit with personnel losses as well.

Kristen Payson, editor of The Landmark in Holden, told WBJ via email on Wednesday she was laid off and her last day would be Sept. 14 with the last issue of the paper to be published Sept. 15. Payson does not know whether The Landmark will continue digital operations, but speculated not. The Landmark covers Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland and Sterling.

Jan Gottesman, editor of The Item in Clinton, indicated in a Friday Facebook post that her position had been eliminated. The publication itself, though, still appears to be in operation, as a post to the publication’s Facebook page indicates the editorial content will be handled by the Telegram & Gazette newsroom . The Item covers Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, Lancaster, and Sterling. 

Baystate Parent Magazine in Millbury will shut down, according to a Monday column posted to the magazine’s website by its editor, Amanda Collins Bernier. The post indicates Collins Bernier has been laid off.

Maureen Sullivan, the editor of both The Grafton News and Millbury-Sutton Chronicle, has been laid off, according to a Friday post on Millbury-Sutton Chronicle's Facebook page.

Gannett has more than 250 publications across the country. On Friday, the Poynter Institute in Florida reported at least 50 layoffs in at least 42 of newsrooms.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated with new information from Gannett, verifying that a sports reporter has been laid off at MetroWest Daily News.

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August 17, 2022

This article is not entirely accurate as the MetroWest/Milford Daily News was impacted by the Gannett layoffs. After working for nearly 4 years as a sports reporter at the MetroWest/Milford Daily News, I was notified last Friday that Gannett eliminated my position. (Editor's note: This story has since been updated, after WBJ verified a sports reporter had indeed been laid off at MetroWest Daily News.)

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