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Bad times hit the Business Journal

A weekly publication that’s long resisted the economic tides succumbs to layoffs.
By David Brauer

For a long time, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal has seemed to defy gravity, at least the economic version that’s hollowing out media properties around town.

But following owner American City Business Journal’s April 15 announcement of a company-wide pay freeze and 5 percent cuts for those making over $35,000, the local title today laid off two workers: longtime copy associate editor Jenny Woods and marketing assistant Michael Rand. The company hasn’t filled its web reporter slot, and has a sales position open.

Publisher Tammy Mencel did not return a call last week to talk about the publication’s fiscal challenges. However, the Business Journal, like other publication, has so far protected its five beat-reporting positions, as well as a two-person research department.

The Business Journal is a subscriber-based weekly that publishes each Friday; it has long had a web-side paywall for bigger features. I’m told paid circulation isn’t the problem; the culprit, unsurprisingly, is business-to-business advertising.