Just when The Daily Advertiser’s employees thought it was safe to poke their heads out of the trenches after surviving several rounds of layoffs in the past four years — heck, it’s been what six months since the last round? — they got hit again Thursday.

This time the cuts really took them by surprise, insiders say. The Daily Advertiser is owned by Virginia-based Gannett Company Inc.

Gannett Blog, which is not associated with the media group and is run by a former USA Today editor, Jim Hopkins, is now estimating this week's job cuts across the company at 154 (excluding USA Today’s 130) — with 48 of 81 newspapers reporting. Hopkins notes that Gannett has about 25,000 U.S. newspaper workers, out of a total 35,000 employees worldwide.

In Lafayette, according to an anonymous post on the blog, six employees were given their pink slips this week. A source at The Daily Advertiser confirms there were cuts but did not give the number of positions. The blog reports one job cut in production, three in circulation, one in advertising and one in the newsroom (assistant features editor). The paper’s website lists Krista Richmond as assistant features editor and L Magazine editor.

Daily Advertiser Publisher Leslie Hurst did not immediately return a call for comment this morning.

Another anonymous blogger posted the following comment to Gannett Blog:

Gannett is paranoid about keeping this round of layoffs on the downlow. We were told (verbally) today not to speak to any reporters/news outlets calling, not to confirm or deny anything if we answered a call and to refer all questions to Robin Pence.
Nothing in writing about anything so far, no lifting-the-troop-morale meeings [sic], nothing. This blog has been indispensible, from the My Boss warning post to the running count.
Employees at my site checked the blog on their phones periodically today, texted and emailed to check the fat [sic] of colleagues at other papers. We fear it isn’t over.

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