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Herald announces reductions

The Grand Forks Herald laid off three employees Friday and has decided to not fill several other open positions. The move comes amid what Publisher Korrie Wenzel said is an ongoing process to scale the Herald for the reality of today's economy an...

photo by Jenna Watson/Grand Forks Herald
photo by Jenna Watson/Grand Forks Herald

The Grand Forks Herald laid off three employees Friday and has decided to not fill several other open positions.

The move comes amid what Publisher Korrie Wenzel said is an ongoing process to scale the Herald for the reality of today's economy and the technology of the future.

"Two trends have emerged in the journalism industry," Wenzel said. "One is that the economy of the region is changing. Every time a retail store closes-like Macy's, for instance-it hurts the newspaper. We've had some serious retail issues in the region in recent months, and the downturn in ag and oil hasn't helped.

"Also, technology means we're able to do more with less. I know that isn't much consolation for many workers in our industry, but it's just the truth."

The three layoffs Friday were in the Herald's newsroom. In recent months, the Herald also has chosen to not refill certain open positions, has offered voluntary buyouts and has accepted early retirements. The process has affected all departments.

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Meanwhile, the Herald also has reduced page count in many of its weekday editions. Wenzel said the smaller editions are now in line with national industry and company standards and is a decision based upon advertising revenue.

"That's not necessarily a permanent thing," Wenzel said of the reduced editions. "On the days we don't have as much advertising, we will now reduce our page count to stay in line with industry standards. On the days we have more advertising, our pages will increase. We haven't done that in the past, but now it's just something we have to do."

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