Last year saw a large number of layoffs in the media industry – both print and digital. This string of layoffs continues as Warren Buffett’s newspaper division cuts a large number of jobs.
Berkshire Hathaway’s media arm is cutting 148 staffers and eliminating more than 100 unfilled jobs. BH Media Corporation’s cuts include the Omaha World-Herald, the home paper of Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffett, where more than 40 positions are being eliminated. All of its cuts add up to about 6 percent of its total workforce.
Terry Kroeger, Chief Executive Officer of BH Media and World-Herald’s publisher, said that advertisers have cut back on placements because of the increasing popularity of online shopping, and the related disruption to regional and national businesses.
“The data suggest our industry is changing, not dying,” Kroeger said. “Our news content has never been more important than it is right now.”
Last year, BH Media cut 289 jobs, including 108 vacant positions, saying digital growth couldn’t offset print revenue losses. Buffett has long been a supporter of the news business. He even delivered papers as a child. The company is now testing new digital business models. Its digital products generated about 1.3 billion page views in 2017, an increase of 22 percent from a year earlier, according to Tuesday’s statement.
Lissa Cupp, Chief Marketing Officer for BH Media said, “Most departments were affected. It was a change across our business, not just in newsrooms. The reason for the job cuts is the result of “a reduction in our overall marketing spend — our ad spend that advertisers are spending with us.”
She also said that the company is seeing increases in digital revenue, but it’s not coming fast enough to offset the advertising declines.
Jobs in print media have declined steadily over the past months and even years. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3,000 jobs were lost between November and January.