Post, parent company reduce work force

Triple Crown Media Inc., parent company of the Gwinnett Daily Post, announced Friday a companywide work force reduction of 5 percent as the company contends with the national economic downturn exacerbated by skyrocketing paper and fuel costs. Staff was reduced throughout the company, including at the Daily Post.

"The credit crunch coupled with an economic slump of this magnitude has put pressure on our industry," TCM executive vice president Michael J. Gebhart said Friday. "In difficult times like these, we have to batten down the hatches."

Newsprint is in the middle of a steep increase in pricing and gas costs have soared well above $3 per gallon in a three-month period in which the economy continued to struggle with recessive numbers.

"We're dependent on our newsprint supplier and they have continued an ongoing strategy that began in December of raising rates," Gebhart said. "Unfortunately, over a period of about six months, our newsprint cost will be up nearly 25 percent."

Triple Crown management took other proactive steps to streamline operations in an attempt to offset spiraling expenses, but determined that a work force reduction also would be needed, he said.

"These are tough economic times for most and it's certainly being felt in the newspaper business," said Post Publisher J.K. Murphy.

The Post reduced its full-time work force by 7 percent.

Triple Crown Media (Nasdaq symbol: TCMI) operates six daily Georgia newspapers - the Gwinnett Daily Post, the Albany Herald, the Rockdale Citizen, the Newton Citizen, the Clayton News-Daily and the Henry Daily Herald - and one weekly, the Jackson Progress Argus.