The Atlanta-based Cox Media Group‘s dismantlement of West Palm Beach’s once-mighty newspaper continues as another important section of The Palm Beach Post is about to disappear, with more layoffs of full-time employees and hiring of part-timers on the horizon.
What’s more, Gossip Extra has learned, a potential tenant who hoped to occupy some of the cavernous Post‘s headquarters on South Dixie Highway was kicked out just before he moved in, fueling the speculation that the building is about to be sold.
In the newspaper, stick a fork in TGIF: It’s a goner!
The Friday stand-alone section on local weekend activities used to set the city’s entertainment agenda with movies, clubs, restaurants, concerts, museums etc . . .
With the disappearance, a handful of employees are expected to be laid off, one Post insider told me.
The insider asked not to be named because he believes emails and phone calls from some Post staffers are monitored.
Cox officials, meanwhile, are hiring dozens of part-timers mostly for the newspaper’s websites with schedules designed to prevent them from obtaining basic benefits like health insurance.
Ironically, the company is partly owned by a family of billionaire Democratic supporters of President Barack Obama, including 93-year-old matriarch Anne Cox Chambers.
“Obviously, they’re trying to save the company with lowly paid part-timers,” scoffed one source who was approached for a job but turned it down. “Good luck to them.”
The newsroom is also rife with rumors that the Post is about to abandon its historic headquarters at the corner of South Dixie and Belvedere, on the south side of West Palm Beach.
I’m told that local Cox personnel were close to inking a deal with a large antiques dealer to provide warehouse space in the near empty printing plant. They eventually back-tracked and told him not to move in, with no coherent explanation.
Several commercial Realtors told me they’re aware Cox would unload the property if the right offer came along, and employees now believe the “right offer” has come.
While their staff mines area people for quotes and news tips hourly, neither the Post‘s publisher nor the editor replied to emails requesting comments about the latest developments.
While most newspapers in the country are in a state of flux, the Post‘s continuing collapse stands out as a particularly spectacular one.