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Charlotte Area

Observer newsroom

http://66.225.205.104/SO20090324.mp3

The mood is somber in the Charlotte Observer newsroom as employees deal with layoffs, significantly reduced hours and pay cuts. That's according to some staffers in the department. Thirty newsroom workers are being laid off. Observer Publisher Ann Caulkins would not say who they are. But she says the quality of reporting will not be affected by these latest layoffs. "We continue to be a top notch news gathering operation as a matter of fact after we had a couple of rounds of buyouts we still produced the series 'the Cruelest Cuts.' We did the series on the United Way, we've done incredible watchdog journalism with a lot less journalists," says Caulkins.

Newsroom employees say emotions are high right now and some people are depressed about their time being cut to 20-hour work weeks. They say some people who lost their jobs were called at home, others were on vacation. And they say many are in shock. They say everyone has their eyes on the blog "McClatchy Watch" which tracks periodic announcements of layoffs at McClatchy Company-owned publications. McClatchy owns the Charlotte Observer, the Raleigh News and Observer and 28 other papers.