(CMR) The Cayman Compass has laid off multiple staff members today according to exclusive sources; the move comes just three days after they started an online donation drive. The exact numbers impacted by this mass layoff are unknown, however, one well-placed source says they understand it's a substantial number and could be “half of the organization.”
Layoffs appear to be at various levels of the organization and across the production line.
Last week we reported that the Compass admitted to financial struggles and was requesting donations from the general public. Last February, the Compass was purchased by local attorney James Bergstrom from the previous owner David Legge. Since then it has undergone significant design and employee changes including a new editor and management team. Additionally, the Compass reduced its format size and increased its price.
One Caymanian employee who has been with the company for some 46 years as a community correspondent reportedly has been laid off. We also understand that multiple reporters, some taken from Cayman 27 last August have now been placed on a part-time schedule. This employee started straight out of high school in 1976 with the then Caymanian Compass and even worked for the now-defunct Nor’wester.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands only daily newspaper. This is a developing story and will be updated once more information is available.
Update: The Cayman Compass has confirmed that they are now focusing on a digital platform and will only be printing once per week.
They have admitted that:
“The shift of strategy, which has had an impact on staffing, is the result of revenue losses sustained by the company from the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic has put our media business into life or death territory,” said Compass publisher Kathleen Capetta. “Our choice is to change drastically or to close our doors. It is both costly and labour-intensive to deliver quality, unbiased and accurate journalism to a community every day.”
There are no precise numbers given in the confirmation but they have continued asking for donations from the public.