“Same here,” says Lillian Schrock, former Corvallis Gazette-Times Public Safety Reporter, in response to Bob Lundeberg’s tweet. Both were laid off by the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Bob Lundeberg, a former sports reporter, posted about his layoff on August 29, saying, “Some unfortunate news to share: there were multiple layoffs in the GT and DH newsroom yesterday, and I didn’t survive this round. Due to cost cutting, I am officially a free agent.”
Publisher of the Gazette-Times (GT), Jeff Precourt, verified that Bob Lundeberg is no longer on their staff but did not reply when asked for confirmation of other employees being laid off or their names. Word has gotten around of four to six employee layoffs besides Lundeberg but Precourt did not comment.
The entirety of his response stated: “We did experience a reduction in force at Mid-Valley Media. Those employees affected were notified on August 28. The list of employees varied in work duties.” Precourt additionally did not respond to questions about the reasons for the employee reduction, but Lundeberg cites budget-related issues as the cause for the layoff.
“It is far too frequent. I had survived a couple rounds of layoffs, but they got me this time,” Lundeberg said in his Twitter feed.
The Eugene Weekly documents Corvallis GT and Albany Democrat Herald’s (DH) 2015 “Bloody Friday.” The city editor and art editor were cut from the GT. Also cut were the Albany DH’s sports editor and two staffers from the Lebanon Express. At the time, rumor of merging the GT and DH was dismissed by Precourt.
Bloody Friday part two? Possibly. The GT and DH are both owned by Davenport, Iowa based Lee Enterprises. The parent company also operates 46 dailies and 300 other publications around the country. It emerged from a bankruptcy in 2012 after Warren Buffet took a stake in the company.
By Josephine Wallace