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'USA Today' Announces Restructuring, Plans To Lay Off Some 130 Employees

Newspaper Company Stock Prices Show Signs They May Have Bottomed Out

'USA Today' announced plans to focus more on its digital platforms, and indicated it will lay off some 130 employees. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

About 130 employees of USA Today, the second-largest newspaper in the U.S., will lose their jobs this fall, its parent company said today:

"USA TODAY has announced a major organizational restructuring with the creation of new departments as well as key appointments in the departments of circulation, finance and news," Gannett said in a statement.

The press releases, which heralds the creation of several new executive positions, does not explicitly mention the layoffs. In an interview with The Associated Press, Dave Hunke, the newspaper's publisher, said that the shake-up is "pretty radical."

Executives presented the plan to employees yesterday. NPR's David Folkenflik said it began with a quotation from William Edwards Deming, the management guru:

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.

USA Today will focus more attention and resources on digital products, including its iPhone and iPad applications, and a new "content group" will collaborate with Rudd Davis, its vice president of business development.

"Davis, the founder of sports website BNQT.com, is being brought in to oversee new business opportunities and brand licensing among other things," the AP reports. "BNQT, which focuses on sports such as skateboarding and skiing that appeal to younger audiences, was bought by Gannett in 2007."

Like many newspapers, USA Today has been losing revenue. In the last three years, it has lost almost 500,000 subscribers.

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