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Last week's ominous warning of looming mass layoffs has come true Friday as multiple reporters from the St. Cloud Times have been let go as part of budget cuts in the Gannett media empire. 

Before cuts began Friday, the newspaper's website listed nine writers: news director Anna Haecherl, reporters Imani Cruzen, Zach Dwyer, Abdulla Gaafarelkhalifa, Natalie Howell, Sarah Kocher, Becca Most, Brian Mozey and photographer/videographer Dave Schwarz.

Dwyer and Cruzen both announced that they were part of the cuts, putting the Times' writing staff at seven or fewer. 

"Was informed this morning that my position has been eliminated at the SC Times," Dwyer wrote in a tweet. "Was ready for year 4 on the local sports scene, but budget cuts has brought my time to an end."

Lark-Marie Antón, Gannett chief communications officer, issued a statement to Bring Me The News but would not say how many employees were cut at the Times, citing "deep respect for our colleagues."

"We've been transparent about the need to evolve our operations and cost structure in line with our growth strategy while also needing to take swift action given the challenging economic environment," Anton said. "These staffing reductions are incredibly difficult, and we are grateful for the contributions of our departing colleagues."

Last week, during a second quarter earnings call, Gannett CEO Mike Reed announced a $54 million operating loss, with the company later informing staff at its more than 200 regional partners, including USA Today, that staffing cuts would be necessary. 

“We will…be making necessary but painful reductions to staffing, eliminating some open positions and roles that will impact valued colleagues,” a Gannett spokesperson told Poynter last Aug. 8

Bring Me The News has reached out to the St. Cloud Times for more information. 

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