Capital Newspapers announced Wednesday that it is eliminating 26 positions, including one part-time and three full-time positions in the Wisconsin State Journal newsroom.
Capital Newspapers is co-owned by Lee Enterprises -- the Davenport, Iowa, company that is responsible for the State Journal -- and The Capital Times Company, which publishes The Capital Times. However, the Capital Times did not make any cuts to its newsroom.
Fifteen people (13 full time and two part time) are being laid off. The company is not filling another 11 vacant positions.
John Smalley, editor of the State Journal, said the layoffs are the result of the economy that continues to lag. The company's fiscal year ends at the end of September and Smalley said "This is some expense reduction as we head into October.... General economic conditions and our revenues are not where we'd like them to be."
He declined to name the reporters who are being let go. Smalley said that one layoff was avoided because Clay Barbour, one of the Journal's state government reporters, is leaving to take a job in Virginia. His position will be filled in-house.
Smalley said that he did not yet know which beats the Journal would eliminate or combine. "It's going to be some resource allocation," Smalley said. "We haven't gotten to the level of talking about combining beats."
The two papers, which share facilities and the Madison.com web domain, recently instituted a subscription requirement for their digital content. Online readers are allowed to read 20 free articles a month, but must subscribe to read more.
Smalley said the paper still has "very high hopes for digital subscriptions."
[Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note hat online readers can access 20 free articles a month at madison.com.]