Thirty-one employees of the Lansing State Journal were laid off Wednesday, including long time entertainment writer Mike Hughes and four members of the staff of Noise, the LSJ's weekly entertainment tabloid.
“In total we eliminated (31) positions through a combination of voluntary layoffs, involuntary layoffs and eliminating three open positions,” publisher Brian Priester wrote in a letter to staff, which was published on Gannettblog.blogspot.com, which is not affiliated with the company.
The cuts come after the LSJ’s parent company, Gannett, announced in October that 5,000 employees would be laid off company wide by Dec. 3. Although 31 were laid off on Wednesday, sources indicate that seven employees were laid off quietly last month.
The LSJ had laid off 13 people in August — five of those positions were by
attrition — bringing the grand total laid off this year to 51.
Former Noise staff writer Chrstian Czerwinksi confirmed to City Pulse Wednesday that he, staff writer Emily Caswell, editor Brian Fisher and photographer Jeremy Herliczek were laid off Wednesday. Sources say, however, that Noise will continue to be published.
“The thing I’m going to miss the most is my co-workers. We were like a family,” Czerwinski said. “I’m not going to miss Gannett, I’m not going to miss the corporate bullshit. You can say ‘bullshit’ with capital letters.”
An anonymous user on the Gannett blog posted at 4:55 p.m. Wednesday that eight advertising salespeople, the online news director, two to three from the custom publications department and a copy editor were among those laid off.
Meanwhile, as 31 people went home with pink slips, the paper's
publisher, Brian Priester, and its executive editor, Michael Hirten,
went to the governor's mansion Wednesday night where they drank wine and exchanged
pleasantries at Gov. Jennifer Granholm's annual Christmas party for the