Arizona Republic and Channel 12 News Employees Forced to Take an Unpaid Week Off

Gannett employees, including those at the Arizona Republic and Channel 12 News (KPNX), are being forced to take a mandatory week of unpaid leave between now and March in an effort to cut costs and avoid layoffs.

It's the latest piece of bad news in an industry that's had more than its fair share in this awful recession. Just a few weeks ago, the Republic laid off dozens of workers. 

Ironically, the first to report this news locally appears to have been Nick Martin, a former East Valley Tribune reporter who got laid off this month and started his own news blog. (It was also covered in Gannett Blog). If daily newspapers go under, it could be sites like Martin's that Phoenix residents will turn to for news.

But if times are tough at a big newspaper like the Republic, they're even tougher on entrepreneurs like Martin, who's forced to scrounge for the few dollars to make his tiny operation work.

Worse, if the Republic and other dailies don't pull up from this nosedive, Martin's one-man news outlet is going to have an awful lot of competitors.


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.