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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Breaking: Fresh Round of Layoffs Announced in the Oregonian Building

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 3:48 PM

UPDATE: This post has been modified to reflect fresh information. Initially, reports came in that the Oregonian Media Group had announced layoffs today. That's not the case. A closely affiliated company headquartered in the Oregonian building apparently announced the changes.

A close affiliate of the Oregonian Media Group today announced a new round of layoffs, a source at the company confirms.

The number of employees affected remains unconfirmed, as do reasons for the shift. It appears to be the first-such move since significant staff cuts and reduced home delivery were announced last summer alongside reorganization at the paper.

The company recently announced it would switch formats. The Oregonian will soon print as a tabloid—the same size and style as the Mercury.

Update, 4:14 pm: A woman who answered the phone in publisher N Christian Anderson III's office says he's in a meeting (which is sometimes code for "not taking calls" and other times code for "in a meeting").

Any announcement doesn't appear to affect the paper's editorial staff. One staffer says the newsroom hasn't heard anything about layoffs.

Update, 4:20 pm: Anderson has responded to an e-mail, and seems to suggest any staff changes aren't technically among Oregonian Oregonian Media Group employees, but with a company Oregon Media Group contracts with: Advance Central Services Oregon (not OMG's parent company, Advance Publications, Inc., as I suggested earlier). Anderson writes, in part: "Ad production staffers do not work for the Oregonian Media Group."

Update, 4:30 pm: Anderson now writes to clarify points. The Oregonian, he notes, does not have employees. It is the Oregonian Media Group.

"Technically, there are no employees of The Oregonian, and Advance Central Services Oregon is a separate company from the Oregonian Media Group. Advance Central Services Oregon provides a variety of services for Oregonian Media Group."

A recent email message to the general manager of Advance Central Services Oregon has not been returned.

Update, 4:42 pm: A bit about Advance Central Services Oregon. Its employees are not technically staffers at the Oregonian Media Group, but the two entities are entwined enough that they share an address, according to ACS Oregon's web site.

ACS Oregon was unveiled last year, as part of a massive shift at the Oregonian. In June, the company announced the formation of the Oregon Media Group, which operates Oregonlive.com and publishes the Oregonian. At the same time, the company introduced another entity, ACS Oregon, which it reported "will serve as a shared-services company that provides human resources, production, circulation, information systems and technology, strategic sourcing and accounting to Oregonian Media Group and other companies."

"Many of our employees will be offered positions with the Oregonian Media Group and many others will be asked to be part of the Advance Central Services Oregon team," Anderson said at the time.

Nearly 100 employees were laid off in that shake up—as many as half of them newsroom staff, Willamette Week reported.

Advance Publications has seven such Advance Central Services units, each corresponding to "media groups" around the country.

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