Eugene Newspaper To Cut Delivery Days Citing Labor Shortage
The Eugene Register-Guard recently sent a letter to some subscribers explaining plans to cut newspaper delivery by one day a week.
After several attempts, KLCC was able to reach the RG's Director of Distribution who provided additional information regarding the delivery day cuts and who will be impacted. This story has been updated 06/25/2021
The letter is signed by Meinart Toberer, Director of Distribution for the Register-Guard—now owned by Gannett Company. In the missive to “valued subscribers,” he writes the paper is experiencing a labor shortage. There are more openings for delivery jobs “than ever before.”
A dearth of delivery contractors has required that RG distribution staff cover the open routes- seven days a week.
Toberer writes in the interest of physical safety and mental health, the company is implementing a temporary plan to give delivery people time off on a rotating schedule. This means some newspaper subscribers will miss one day’s delivery each week.
Toberer apologized for the service interruption, writing the decision to cut delivery is contrary to Register-Guard operating standards.
Until delivery positions are filled, around 15 percent of RG subscribers will see one "excluded" day per week, Toberer explained. The next day, they will get the missed edition delived along with the daily paper. No routes will be impacted more than once per week and never on Wednesday or Sunday, editions with the highest readership, Toberer said.
The Register-Guard has undergone numerous changes since the founding Baker family sold the paper to Gatehouse Media in 2018 and was then reappropriated after a merger with Gannett Publishing in 2019.
Copy editing of the paper was relocated to Austin, Texas, resulting in layoffs in Eugene. In March, 2021, the Register-Guard moved its print production from Eugene to Vancouver, Washington, displacing 49 full and part time employees.
Toberer said Gannett is offering cash bonuses and other incentives to attract candidates for the delivery contractor positions at the Register-Guard.