“The Olympian” now controlled from Tacoma

June 21st, 2008 by Ken

Layoffs at The Olympian means that effective control of the local newspaper has been transferred to Tacoma and will operate out of the The (Tacoma) News Tribune offices.

Not only have 17 Olympian staffers been laid off but several others have been transferred to Tacoma where they will operate out of that sister publication.  Those transferred from Olympia to Tacoma include the Advertising Manager and the Classified Advertising Manager, thus moving those operations out of town.

It’s not certain how many reporters and editors have gone, but at least one has lost his job at The Olympian.

The moves are part of an effort to save McClatchy Company from further financial problems.  The company has seen a significant decrease in revenue primarily due to the decline in advertising in all of its newspapers.

McClatchy owns seven daily newspapers in Washington State including The News Tribune, The Olympian, the Bellingham Hearld andThe Tri City Herald.  It also owns 49 percent of The Seattle Times.

Since its acquisition of those newspapers in April 06, the company has been consolidating its operations.  A significant piece of the action is controlled by The (Tacoma) News Tribune which staffers at The Olympian refer to as “the mother ship.”

A look at the pages of our local newspaper will show many stories with bylines from other McClatchy papers, particularly those of The (Tacoma) News Tribune.  Fewer and fewer stories are being generated from Thurston County. but are fed to The Olympianfrom McClatchy’s other papers.

The Olympian isn’t the only McClatchy paper to feel the pinch.  Some 84 employees at The (Tacoma) News Tribune have also lost their jobs.

These layoffs in newspaper staff are just the latest in bad news from a media which is trying desperately to remain relevant while fewer and fewer people are subscribing to newspapers.  Total paid subscriptions to The Olympian fell from 34,377 in 06 to 32,708 in 07.  The Olympian  isn’t alone.  Most newspapers across the country have seen a significant decrease in paid circulation.

But, with the newest cuts, layoffs and transfers it appears that for all practical purposes, operation of The Olympianhas been transferred to the “mother ship” in Tacoma.

While circulation has been shipped out overseas and advertising moved to Tacoma the news side of the operation is still controlled from The Olympian’s office on the Eastside. How much longer that will remain is a matter of conjecture. But less and less local news is making the pages and it’s only a matter of time before all news operations are moved to Tacoma as well.

Indicating that The Olympian is moving out of town is the fact that they have put up an adjacent piece of property for sale, a piece they have owned for decades.

Posted in Business, Informational, The Real News

(comments are closed).