Assemblymember Wallace: Lee Enterprises’ Proposed Cuts at Buffalo News Would Outsource Good Jobs, Weaken Quality of Local News

“Robust, independent, and local journalism is absolutely vital to our society. Journalists hold people in power to account, act as public watchdogs against bad actors in positions of power and keep the public informed of the issues that matter in our community. Journalism is the bedrock of our democracy. Sadly, to maximize profits, many newsrooms are being decimated by out-of-state corporate owners and hedge funds, which do not always act in the best interests of the publications or their communities.

“This appears to be the case at the Buffalo News, which is the only daily newspaper in Erie County. Lee Enterprises, which purchased the News early last year, is proposing to cut one-quarter of all positions at the Buffalo News Guild, including page designers and customer service employees, according to the Guild. These cuts would severely diminish the quality of the newspaper for residents in Western New York and reduce the availability of customer service for thousands of subscribers.

“What’s even more troubling is that these layoffs and outsourcing are being considered at a time when Lee Enterprises’ CEO is being paid over $1 million per year. I urge Lee Enterprises to put the interests of the public before its own profit and to reconsider these proposed cuts, which would be damaging to our entire community.”