Courthouse News Service
Courthouse News Service

Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, July 02, 2008Last Update: 10:43:17 AM

Class Action Challenges Newspaper Layoffs

     RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) - A subscriber filed a class action against the News & Observer newspaper, claiming its plan to lay off 70 workers will deliver an inferior product to customers who subscribed before the layoffs began on June 17 - part of 1,400 layoffs in the McClatchy newspaper chain.
     Keith Hempstead, an attorney and a former newspaper reporter, filed the pro se claim Wake County Superior Court. He says McClatchy's buyouts and layoffs will eliminate daily editions for some areas, including as the Durham edition to which he subscribes.
     The News & Observer announced on June 16 that the paper will have fewer sections and the ones that remain will be thinner. Hempstead says he would not have renewed his subscription in late May if he knew the layoffs were coming.
     He claims the News & Observer and McClatchy breached contract. He demands an injunction and damages.