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USA Today shaking up staff in 'radical' overhaul

• http://finance.yahoo.com

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- USA Today, the nation's second largest newspaper, is making the most dramatic overhaul of its staff in its 28-year history as it de-emphasizes its print edition and ramps up its effort to reach more readers and advertisers on mobile devices.

The makeover outlined Thursday will result in about 130 layoffs this fall, USA Today Publisher Dave Hunke told The Associated Press. That translates into a 9 percent reduction in USA Today's work force of 1,500 employees. Hunke didn't specify which departments would be hardest hit.

The management shake-up affects both the newspaper's business operations and newsroom.

Like most newspapers, Gannett Co.'s USA Today has been cutting back in recent years to offset a steep drop in advertising that is depleting its main source of income. To compound the problem, fewer readers are paying for newspapers as free news proliferates on the Web.

Those challenges triggered the most dramatic reorganization since USA Today first hit the streets in 1982 with a then-unique blend of shorter stories surrounded by colorful graphics and pictures.

"This is pretty radical," Hunke said of the shake-up. "This gets us ready for our next quarter century."

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