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Journal Star owner axes 52 jobs in Arizona

The company that owns the Lincoln Journal Star made big layoffs this week at one of its large newspapers, the Arizona Daily Star.

According to the Tucson Sentinel, the Daily Star laid off 52 people on Thursday in what one former employee called a “a major bloodletting” for a paper with about 400 employees.

The Tucson paper reported that the company that owns Lincoln’s newspaper, Lee Enterprises,

is widely thought to be on the verge of bankruptcy. The decline in newspaper circulation in recent years, and the company’s crushing $1.1 billion debt from its purchase of the Pulitzer chain (which brought it the Star), have pushed Lee to cut costs.

After the Tucson Sentinel was reporting on the layoffs all day Thursday, the Arizona Daily Star finally reported briefly that it had eliminated some vacant positions and “realigned” its workforce.

“These actions, precipitated by the ongoing weakness in the economy and adjustments to our business model, made for a tough day,” said John M. Humenik, president and publisher of the Star.

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