Few Madison institutions have suffered more in recent years than Capital Newspapers, owner and publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal, The Capital Times and other papers. Staff sizes have been slashed, benefits cut, and even the cafeteria has been shut down. Now it appears there's more suffering to come.
A July 29 memo to employees from human resources director Debbie Reed warns, "We are nearing completion of our operating budget for the next fiscal year, and we now know that we are going to have to reduce staffing at Capital Newspapers."
The memo goes on to say, "We need to eliminate multiple positions in the combined newsrooms, and the sports and video departments are the primary areas which will experience the reductions." At least four fulltime jobs will likely get cut; severance deals are being offered to those who agree to leave voluntarily.
These cuts come on the heels of a quarterly earnings loss posted July 20 by Lee Enterprises, half-owner of Cap News. Lee's financial woes have driven cost cutting in Madison, although the operation here remains profitable.