PORTSMOUTH — Officials confirmed a small number of layoffs at the Seacoast Media Group that publishes two daily newspapers in the region.
Earlier this week, GateHouse Media, its parent owner, said there were as many as 200 layoffs at its member newspapers across the country, part of what its top executives called a “restructuring.”
In a statement, Seacoast Media Executive Director Howard Altschiller said despite this development the Portsmouth Herald, Foster’s Daily Democrat and other publications will maintain high standards of reporting.
“We still have a very strong team of reporters, photographers and editors who will continue to provide top quality coverage of the Seacoast region,” said Altschiller, who did not disclose how many jobs were lost.
Gov. Chris Sununu, a Newfields resident, and other political leaders weighed in to support local media.
“Awful news. The Portsmouth Herald is my local paper. I’m a loyal reader and our office subscribes. Their entire newsroom is dedicated to providing balanced, community-driven coverage. I encourage everyone to subscribe to your local paper,” Sununu tweeted.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, who rose from local state senator from Madbury to governor to head of the state’s congressional delegation, was also disappointed.
“This is so sad. @Seacoastonline,” Shaheen posted on Twitter Friday night. “Journalists do a great job covering the region and informing readers; so important that we support local journalism. The depletion of local papers and journalists is bad for our communities and democracy.”
The Seacoast Media Group also publishes the Exeter News-Letter and Hampton Union, along with the seacoastonline.com news site.
On Saturday afternoon, Altschiller wrote a column about the layoffs and the state of print journalism.
"For more than two decades the newspaper industry has been grappling with the challenge of funding journalism with digital dimes instead of print dollars. Sometimes these struggles play out quietly and other times they receive public attention, as they did this past week at the newspapers owned by GateHouse," Altschiller wrot.e
"As we met as a team Friday to talk about the layoffs and begin planning for the future, I admired the courage and determination of my colleagues. This was a deeply painful week, but our commitment to local news and the communities we serve has not and will not waver."
This is a link to the full column: https://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20190525/our-commitment-to-community-journalism-will-not-waver