Local paper cuts positions, expected to reduce sections
The Missoulian newspaper has eliminated three newsroom positions and is expected to reduce the size of the daily paper to two sections by the end of the month, several sources familiar with the company said.
The layoffs affect three long-time employees, including the sports editor, the graphics editor and the news customer service leader, as well as an online advertising position.
Calls to Publisher Mark Heintzelman on Thursday weren't returned, though two of the employees impacted by the layoffs made the announcement on Facebook.
“I was laid off today after 25 years as the Missoulian's sports editor, a position that has been eliminated,” Bob Meseroll said on Facebook on Jan. 30.
Ken Barnedt also posted the news to Facebook, saying he was laid off after almost 17 years as the Missoulian's graphics editor. The layoffs also affect Tandy Dollan Khameneh, the news customer service leader, who had been with the paper since 1986.
Jackie Maunder, who handles online advertising, saw her position reduced to half time.
Those familiar with the paper's daily operations said the Missoulian was down roughly $300,000 in revenue for the quarter ending in December. The paper is expected to reduce the size of its daily newspaper to two sections, reportedly eliminating several weekly sections such as food and health.
The latest round of layoffs follow cuts made in late 2014 when Lee Enterprises, the Missoulian's parent company, moved the layout and design of its chain of daily newspapers to a central location in Indiana.
That led to the loss of roughly 3.5 jobs in the Missoulian newsroom. Other positions have been left dark, some as long as six months. Other positions have not been replaced. The company has also outsourced its print and online advertising creation to the Philippines, those familiar with the company said.