The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of Pennsylvania’s largest newspapers, will cut its print edition to three days as it grapples with declining advertising and digital threats, according to newsroom sources and widely published reports.
A Post-Gazette memo distributed to employees said the newspaper would be printed only for Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, according to newsroom sources. The changes are expected Sept. 30. The newspaper now publishes on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
A spokesperson could not be reached on Friday for comment.
The family-owned Pittsburgh newspaper made national headlines earlier this year when its publisher and editor-in-chief John Robinson Block subjected newsroom staff members to a tirade and threatened employees’ jobs as his young daughter sobbed and begged him to stop, according to Post-Gazette staffers who were present.
Triggering the outburst was a union sign in the newsroom that said in big letters “Shame on the Blocks!” In a 45-second video clip provided to the Pittsburgh publication The Incline, Block is seen standing before the poster and heard shouting “Get rid of it!” before striking the poster with his hands twice.
Allan Block, John Block’s brother and chairman of Block Communications that owns the newspaper, issued a statement after the incident saying the company regretted “if anyone present may have misconstrued what occurred as anything other than an indication of strong concern and support for the legacy and future of the Post-Gazette.”
So far 2019 has been a difficult year for Pennsylvania newspapers.
The family-owned Reading Eagle filed for bankruptcy protection and was bought at auction by the MediaNews Group, also known as Digital First Media, for $5 million. MediaNews Group has a reputation for slashing the costs of its acquired newspapers.
Through job eliminations, retirements and attrition, the Reading Eagle lost about half of its employees -- or 111 staffers -- between the company filed for bankruptcy protection in March and June when MediaNews Group closed on the deal.
This month, the Inquirer eliminated 29 union positions company-wide through a buy-out.