Katie Robertson at NYT:

Hundreds of journalists for the country’s largest newspaper chain walked off the job on Monday, accusing the company’s chief executive of decimating its local newsrooms, and demanding a change at the top. The walkout was the biggest labor action in Gannett’s history, said the union representing the journalists. It included workers from about two dozen newsrooms, including The Palm Beach Post, The Arizona Republic and The Austin American-Statesman. The demonstrations are expected to continue on Tuesday for some newsrooms. The collective action is timed to coincide with Gannett’s annual shareholder meeting, which is being held on Monday. The NewsGuild, which represents more than 1,000 journalists from Gannett, sent a letter to Gannett shareholders in May urging a vote of no-confidence against Mike Reed, the chief executive and chairman. In the letter, the NewsGuild criticized the company’s merger with GateHouse Media in 2019, saying it “mortgaged the future of our company” by loading it up with debt.

“Gannett has created news deserts everywhere you look,” said Peter D. Kramer, a reporter for the USA Today Network. “That’s Mike Reed’s Gannett.”

The NewsGuild said The Austin American-Statesman’s newsroom had 41 employees this year, down from 110 in 2018. In that same period, The Arizona Republic’s newsroom in Phoenix had shrunk to 89 workers from 140, while The Milwaukee Sentinel had been cut to 82 from 104. “You have communities that go uncovered, and when things go uncovered it allows people to abuse their positions,” said Kaitlyn Kanzler, a reporter for NorthJersey.com and The Record in Northern New Jersey.