BREAKING: Philadelphia Inquirer BEGINS LAYOFFS

JOANN LOVIGLIO Associated PressThe Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday began a round of long-expectedtierneyslist.jpg layoffs amid a drop in circulation and ad revenue. Several reporters at the Inquirer, Pennsylvania’s largest newspaper, said they were told Tuesday morning that their jobs were being eliminated. The employees said that they were told to meet with personnel officials on Wednesday to discuss details of their severance pay and health benefits.

In all, 68 [71, according to a just-released Guild memo] newsroom employees were expected to be laid off, company spokesman Jay Devine said. All the affected workers will be notified within the next day, and their layoff dates and benefits will vary, he said.

The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News were long part of Knight Ridder Inc., which was sold in March to McClatchy Co. McClatchy sold the Philadelphia papers three months later in a deal worth $562 million to Philadelphia Media Holdings, an investment group led by Brian Tierney, a former advertising executive who is now the papers’ chief executive and publisher.

In November, Tierney announced that declining ad revenues would require contract concessions and that layoffs in the 415-worker newsroom were unavoidable as the company aimed to save at least $20 million. Circulation has been on a sharp decline, with weekday figures at the Inquirer down 7.6 percent to nearly 331,000 in the six months ended Sept. 30.MORE

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