Newspaper giant Gannett staged a “mini bloodbath” this week at North Jersey Media Group, which includes the Record in Bergen County, an insider told The Post.
It marks at least the third time the ax has swung in the 14 months since the Borg family sold the newspaper group to Gannett for $40 million in July 2016.
About a dozen people were laid off Thursday at papers including the Bergen Record, which is the second-largest daily in the state, according to a source.
One insider said that when Gannett announced earlier this week it was laying off “less than 1 percent” of its employees nationwide, insiders at North Jersey were expecting maybe two or three would be let go locally. The cuts were apparently deeper in New Jersey.
“Not sure what they were thinking, but it’s been a downward spiral here at the North Jersey Media Group,” said one insider.
Those given the ax were forced to clear out their desks and exit immediately, insiders said.
Among them was a reporter with 30 years’ experience, John Brennan; Heather Zwain, a fashion editor and one of the last full-time edit staffers on 201 Magazine; and an editor, Debra Lyn Vile.
In the two previous axings, a total of 241 people were laid off and at least 20 of North Jersey Media Group’s weekly newspapers were shuttered. Many of the copy editing and production facilities were combined with the Asbury Park Press, which Gannett owned before it added the Bergen Record to its holdings.
Rich Green, VP of news for the Gannett papers in New Jersey, did not reveal specifics but said, “It is always painful to say goodbye to talented, dedicated colleagues.”
“The New Jersey Media Group remains focused on the pursuit of meaningful journalism and sharing it on all platforms with sophistication and urgency as our business model continues to evolve.”