Boulder Daily Camera Publisher Al Manzi would neither confirm nor deny reports Wednesday that his company has laid off about a dozen more employees.
Boulder Weekly has been told that the Camera and its sister newspapers in the area have quietly laid off approximately 12 staff members, reportedly affecting the only remaining reporter at the Colorado Daily as well as employees at the Longmont Times-Call and Loveland Reporter-Herald.
When asked about the reports, Manzi described it as “a very minor reorganization of staff, very, very minor.” But he declined to comment further because his papers had not yet printed their own story about the changes.
“We’re going to do something on our own, and you’ll be able to pick that up right out of our product, and that will tell you everything you need to know,” Manzi said. “I’m not going to confirm or deny anything, because I don’t want to give you the information that you think you have.”
When told of the information provided to BW, he said, “Well, you have some errors in there, but I’m not going to point them out, because they’ll be in our story, and that will be the accurate story.
“I’m not trying to be difficult,” Manzi added. “I’m typically very cooperative in these kinds of situations, but we haven’t published anything on it, and I don’t think it’s fair to our employees to have that happen.”
About a year ago, Prairie Mountain Publishing, the subsidiary of Denver Post parent company Digital First Media that owns several local newspapers, announced that it was laying off 17 employees and outsourcing ad design and production functions, using a company that has facilities in India and Indonesia.
At that time, Manzi initially denied the move when interviewed by BW, then published a report about it in the Camera the next day.
“We are constantly looking for ways to become more efficient, whatever direction that takes, because, as the CEO of the company has said, we’ve got to make sure we’re cognizant of the reduction of legacy costs so we can grow into our digital future,” Manzi said at the time.
John Paton, who replaced former MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton in September 2011, writes in blog posts about the need to “stop, reduce, outsource and sell all legacy cost areas” and “slay the production god” by focusing resources on journalism and ad sales, eliminating infrastructure expenses.
Prairie Mountain Publishing acquired Lehman Communications in January 2011, taking over the Times-Call, Reporter-Herald and other area newspapers, allowing the company to share content among its various publications, consolidate staff and eliminate duplication.