The paper, which is the oldest continuously published daily in the US, announced Wednesday that it would cut 60 jobs, or 25% of its editorial staff by the end of next month. The Courantâ€™s parent Tribune is struggling with a $13 billion debt, created by a buyout which took the media group private last year. Although the Courant has been slimming down gradually in recent months, the scale of these latest cuts was a shock, according to the paperâ€™s business writer, Ken Gosselin.
Itâ€™s raising all sorts of questions among journalists at the paper, about, you know, can we continue with the investigative reporting that we are known for; covering local town news which had been a very big emphasis of ours for a couple of decades now.
Tribune is just one of many newspaper groups struggling to adapt to the internet age, and a decline in traditional advertising revenue. Rich Hanley, a journalism professor at Quinnipiac University says they need to improve their response.
"One of the paradoxes in all this is that people arenâ€™t reading less, theyâ€™re just reading it online. And the business side, the side thatâ€™s supposed to sell the advertising, manage the finances, manage the debt, canâ€™t figure out what to do, but the price is being paid by the editorial employees, whose work remains to be popular among readers, just not in print, it just happens to be online."
Editorial staff at the paper have been offered buyouts, but itâ€™s likely that layoffs will be needed to finally achieve the cuts.