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AJC scales down to save

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one of the largest dailies in the Southeast, is reworking its circulation strategy and eliminating 62 distribution jobs in its second distribution cut since 2007.

Circulation is expected to fall by 2.2% daily and 1.9% on Sundays, following consolidation of the paper’s distribution operations from 74 to 49 counties. Distribution duties will now be shared with the Rome News-Tribune in Floyd and Polk counties. The restructuring should be complete by June 2. A representative for the AJC could not be reached for comment as of press time.

“The way in which consumers get their news and information continues to evolve,” said Robert W. Eickhoff, the AJC’s SVP of operations, in a prepared statement. “We are changing as well, to ensure we continue to serve our readers and our advertisers in the metro Atlanta market as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

The ABC’s most recent FAS-FAX reports the AJC’s total paid Sunday circulation as 497,149 for the six months ending March 31, 2008 — a 5% drop from the 523,687 reported in March of 2007. Daily circulation fell about 8.5% since last year.

The new distribution cuts place daily circulation at 320,200 and Sunday circulation at 487,700, concentrated in 28 counties. Prior to the first round of distribution cutbacks a little more than a year ago, the AJC had a distribution area of almost 200 counties in five states.

Employees whose jobs are cut will be able to apply for other positions at the paper or receive compensation.

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