The Bay Area News Group (BANG), which includes the Mercury News and several Bay Area community newspapers such as Cupertino Courier and Sunnyvale Sun, laid off more than two dozen journalists and other staff on Thursday, including members of the Courier staff, according to multiple reports.
Jacqueline Ramseyer, staff photographer and photo editor for BANG’s Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, posted a farewell on the Courier Facebook page Thursday:
The layoffs came a week after dozens of more BANG employees, many of them industry veterans, accepted buyouts. Declining advertising revenue has been blamed for multiple BANG layoffs in recent years, long with buyout offers in 2016.
According to SanJoseInside.com, which featured the most comprehensive report on the layoffs as of this writing, BANG Executive Editor Neil Chase told staff in an email that no BANG publication has lost its entire staff.
“Our community weeklies lost some staffers, as did our dailies, but we’re still covering the same area and publishing the same papers,” Chase’s email stated, according to SanJoseInside.com.
Chase reportedly pegged the total number of remaining BANG staffers throughout the Bay Area at 150, adding there would be reorganizing in the coming days to streamline coverage.
According to the union representing journalists, the Pacific Media Workers Guild, the 1990s San Jose Mercury News had a staff of well over 400 union-represented journalists.
“At last count, before the current buyouts and layoffs, the Guild-covered staff in the South Bay stood at just 41 newsroom workers,” according to the union, which blames BANG parent owner Digital First Media for recklessly cutting into necessary journalism in order to maximize profits.