S.J. Merc staff gutted by 62.5%
The newspaper was perhaps the primary beneficiary of the Internet Bubble, when aggressive competition for dot-comers pumped its want-ad revenues to stratospheric – and, as it proved – unsustainable highs. By some accounts, the paper dropped $100 million a year in recruitment sales when the Internet mania collapsed as the new millennium dawned.
During the giddy boom in Silicon Valley, the staff of the Merc swelled to some 400 journalists. But the crew will be reduced to 150 by close of business tomorrow, dropping headcount 62.5% from the all-time high.
(UPDATE 6.26.08: A Merc insider says the latest informaton since last night is that the stafff will number 155 after the cuts vs. an all-time high of 420. At that rate, the staff will be 63% smaller than at its peak.)
Apart from the entire staffs idled at newspapers that have gone out of business, the Merc looks, on a percentage basis, to be taking the worst hits in an industry that has taken plenty of them.