Company-wide layoffs at Gannett Co., Inc., affected the Tuscaloosa News this week, where two longtime editors lost their jobs, further reducing an already slim staff at the Druid City's newspaper of record.

The cuts affected Executive Editor Michael James and Executive Sports Editor Edwin Stanton.

James has served the Tuscaloosa community at the paper since 2001, and rose through the ranks there until he was promoted to executive editor in 2012. In that role, he led all newsroom operations and oversaw the News' staff of reporters.

Stanton joined the Tuscaloosa News in 2006 and was a copy editor, page designer and managing sports editor before he replaced Tommy Deas as executive sports editor in 2019.

The News has seen a tumultuous decade -- it was sold by the New York Times to Halifax Media Group in 2012, and Halifax was acquired by GateHouse Media in 2015. GateHouse merged with Gannett in late 2019 to create the largest local newspaper in the United States, but the resultant behemoth carries a large amount of debt.

Plagued also by revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Gannett laid off reporters, editors and photographers at newspapers across the nation this week.

As a former reporter for the Tuscaloosa News laid off by GateHouse in 2018, I sincerely wish the best for the editors affected by this round of cuts. I worked with both, and they are great men who were great at their jobs.

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