In September, the Gannett-owned Des Moines Register issued a statement addressing upcoming structural changes that, they said, would lead to layoffs at both of the company’s Iowa newspapers, the Register and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. These changes hit home in Iowa City on Friday, Oct. 17, with the dismissal of at least three employees from the P-C‘s newsroom: Pat Harty, Stephen Schmidt and Sarah Kelly.
Pat Harty tells KCJJ he was just laid off by the Press-Citizen.
— 1630 KCJJ (@KCJJ) October 17, 2014
KCJJ reported that on-air personality and P-C sportswriter Pat Harty had been laid off after 23 years of reporting on sports in Iowa City. In a blog post, the broadcasting company said that Harty will continue working with KCJJ in an expanded role. In a Facebook post, KCJJ added that “Iowa Sports will be covered from Des Moines.” And that “Editorial decisions for the P-C are already made there.”
Welp, the Press-Citizen doesn't have a place for me in its "newsroom of the future." So I need a new job. LMK if you know of anything.
— Sarah Kelly Shannon (@thesarahkelly) October 17, 2014
Assistant Digital Director Sarah Kelly and Digital Editor Stephen Schmidt were also released, sources say.
Earlier this month, reporter Mitchell Schmidt announced he would leave the Press-Citizen to join The Gazette, based in Cedar Rapids, thus leaving the paper without yet another of its most familiar voices.
The September Gannett announcement referred to the Register and P-C as a single “Iowa News Network,” and came shortly after an August Gannett announcement to stockholders that the company planned to isolate shares in its print products from shares in its other broadcasting divisions.