Wyoming News Union Criticizes Billings Gazette Owner Over Newsroom Layoffs
A journalism union based in Wyoming is criticizing executive leadership for recent layoffs at the Billings Gazette.
The Billings Gazette laid off three newsroom employees earlier this month: one sports reporter, a copy editor and a recently hired photojournalism intern.
On Tuesday, unions representing newsrooms at papers owned by Lee Enterprises, which also owns the Billings Gazette, released a joint statement on Twitter placing blame on Lee Enterprise executive leadership for recent cutbacks at the Billings Gazette and cutbacks to staff in Lee newsrooms across the country. The Southern Illinoisan Guild and The United Media Guild signed on to the statement released by the Casper News Guild.
Seth Klamann covers education and health for the Casper Star-Tribune and is a member of the Casper News Guild.
"Billings is obviously in our area. They’re our sister paper. But there have been cuts at other Lee papers as part of this kind of 'axe swinging'. We as a guild in Casper have been pretty active in doing this sort of thing since we organized almost two years ago. One of the reasons we organized is we want to be able to communicate to readers and to our community about what’s happening to us," Klamann said.
In an editorial published November 10, Billings Gazette Editor Darrell Ehrlick attributed changes to the print version of the paper to rapid changes to advertising and media more broadly. The editorial does not mention staff cuts.
Ehrlick declined to comment for this story.