WILKES-BARRE — Times Shamrock Communications, which publishes the Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre and three other daily newspapers in the region, has eliminated 25 positions and will lay off or offer buyouts to 37 other employees in the wake of slumping advertising revenue since 2012, according to sources.
The company, owned by the Lynett and Haggerty families of Scranton, publishes the Times-Tribune of Scranton, the Standard-Speaker of Hazleton and the Republican Herald of Pottsville in addition to the Citizens’ Voice.
A story in Tuesday’s Citizens’ Voice announced the buyouts but did not mention layoffs.
Sources told the Times Leader that Times Shamrock CEO George V. Lynett Jr. informed employees at the Citizens’ Voice on Monday that out of 550 positions identified by the company, seven were eliminated at the Standard-Speaker in the second half of last year and 18 others were terminated company-wide through attrition. Lynett cited another 37 that will need to be purged due to declining advertising revenue, according to sources.
Buyouts have been offered to 15-year-plus employees, according to a story in the Citizens’ Voice. Meanwhile, sources told the Times Leader that Lynett informed workers in Wilkes-Barre that the buyouts will be “much better” than their normal severance package in order to incentivize people to take it.
Lynett said he believes half of the desired cuts could be achieved through buyouts. Details of the offers will be revealed later this week, he added.
The majority of the remaining positions will be cut from Lackawanna County, while the rest will be split between the Republican Herald and Citizens’ Voice, Lynett said, noting the latter likely will be the least affected, according to sources.