Columbus' oldest newspaper to lay off 56

By Chuck Leonard  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer announced Thursday it is laying off almost a third of its workforce and it plans on shifting part of its operations to Montgomery, AL.

We are told 56 workers at the city's oldest paper received the news Thursday. They were told that after the first of the year, they'll be unemployed.

On January 24, the printing press at the Ledger-Enquirer will go silent, almost 200 years  after the first edition rolled off.  

"You know, it's a difficult thing but it's the way the industry is moving. We're not pioneering something new here. There are a lot of papers that have done this before. It's just one of the things we have to do, " said John Kelly VP of Circulation and Printing.

L-E's management made the tough decision to move the printing part of the operation to Montgomery, where that city's Advertiser will take over.
It's not clear if any Columbus workers will move with the shift.

Kelly remarked, "The folks in Montgomery have promised us they'll give our folks first preference on any positions that they have available there."

We asked whether readers will notice a difference, Kelly said absolutely not, " We're shutting down the production department. We're not shutting down the newspaper, though. We plan on being here a little while longer."

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.