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Star-Telegram to eliminate 15 positions

FORT WORTH --The Star-Telegram will eliminate 15 jobs through a restructuring of management at the newspaper, Publisher Gary Wortel announced Thursday.

Wortel said eight of the jobs will be in the newsroom, with the rest coming from reductions in marketing, operations, circulation and advertising. The changes affect less than 1.5 percent of the Star-Telegram’s staff.

The move comes as the newspaper industry struggles with a continued slide in circulation and advertising. Last year, the industry cut 16,900 positions, or nearly 5 percent of total employees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Newspapers like the New York Times, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle and Dallas Morning News have all announced layoffs or buyouts during the past 18 months.

"This has been an extremely difficult decision. We decided to reorganize our management structure to adjust to a challenging business environment,’" Wortel said. "We analyzed all options and decided this was the best solution for the long-term health of our newspaper."

The affected employees are eligible for severance packages that include pay based on their years of service and extended medical insurance. Most will leave the paper April 25th.

Wortel said the newspaper continues to be in a hiring freeze in most departments and would remain that way until the economy improves. Earlier this year, the Star-Telegram eliminated 26 positions from its advertising design production department.