These data from the Newspaper Assocation of America show that newspaper revenues have dropped $13.4 billion since 2003. Allen Mutter says they dropped $3 billion in the first six months of this year.
The aggregate data don't reflect McClatchy's performance precisely; for example, our online revenues are growing robustly, which apparently isn't true everywhere. But it's obvious that the whole industry is in recession, and we're hurting, too.
I mention this to suggest that you consider the scale of the problem before blaming it all on Gary (or, worse yet, me). We've made some mistakes and haven't done everything right, but the serious financial situation that mandates layoffs and expense reductions is way bigger than us.
Right now, the issue is ad revenue decline. We know we're never going back to the days I've referred to as Fat, Dumb & Happy, but we don't need to. Our company is already considerably more efficient than it was then and becoming more so, so our operating costs are falling. If revenue can stabilize, we'll be able to operate healthy news organizations without the continued threat of further cutbacks.
And when will they stabilize? Nobody knows, and signals are still mixed. But they will, and our job is to get from here to there, and then start building.