Layoffs at The Post and Courier tops bad week for S.C. papers (updated)

Image by 20090206-layoffs.jpg as of 7 this morning -- a harbinger of what was to come?

Word has just come that The Post and Courier has laid off 25 people including six from the newsroom.

Read more stories on this subject in our newspaper topic page.It's the same week that furloughs were announced at The Sumter Item, speculation mounted that another paper chain in South Carolina could be readying for bankruptcy, and McClatchy posted a huge fourth-quarter loss including $21.7 million lost by its Columbia newspaper.

At 11:12 a.m. The Charleston Regional Business Journal tweeted:
Getting word that P&C just announced layoffs. Checking ... 6 from newsroom. #chs

Inside sources confirm there's been some sort of shakeup.

Update 11:45 a.m.: We've been tipped off to some names. They include some more well known figures, such as arts reviewer Dottie Ashley.

Update 11:55 a.m.: The unconfirmed list includes director of marketing Craig Rogers, online director Paul Crawford, editorial columnist Charles Gates, and - again - arts reviewer Dottie Ashley.

Other names have been mentioned, but we're not mentioning them unless they're department heads or key community figures.

Update noon: Here's a short blurb from the paper on why.

Publisher Larry W. Tarleton said, "These actions are necessary to guarantee the long-term success of our company."

Update 12:15 p.m.: Well, it looks like the news has been pretty well rounded out. 25 laid off, and we can likely expect a change in the online presence and how the paper is marketed.

Could be they intend to reinvest in some positions with more impressive people, or maybe not. Time will tell. But it's hard to imagine a newspaper allowing their Web presence to diminish.

Update 2:45 p.m.: The Charleston Regional Business Journal has posted a good little story that does well at putting all of the events into context. Go check it out.

Update Saturday a.m.: They've expanded on their own story a little with what appears in the Saturday edition of the paper.