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Provo Daily Herald cuts staff in newsroom, other departments

Published February 6, 2013 7:54 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Provo Daily Herald newspaper announced Wednesday that nine employees had been laid off, or about 10 percent of its workforce.

No specific reasons for the action were given, but in an online story it was noted that the paper's owner, Lee Enterprises, said last month that the company had reduced "cash costs" by 3.7 percent in the quarter ending Dec. 30, compared with the same period a year earlier.

In a preliminary statement of its first-quarter 2013 results last month, Lee credited "improved efficiencies through an ongoing transformation of business models" for the expense reduction.

The layoffs affected several departments, including news, circulation, finance and graphics, according to the Herald's website.

"These difficult decisions position us to continue moving forward as we always have in serving our readers and advertisers," Publisher Rona Rahlf said in a statement printed by the paper.

Rahlf, whose voice mail said she was out of the office until next week, was not available for comment.

According to the preliminary financial statement, Lee earned $10.5 million, or 20 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2013. A year earlier, it reported a profit of $16.8 million, or 37 cents per share.

Like other newspaper companies, Davenport, Iowa-based Lee has been battered by falling advertising revenue and declining circulation as increasing numbers of readers and advertisers embrace digital technologies.

pbeebe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribpaul