Journalists at the Everett Herald together getting support from the community in October 2023

Everett Herald union workers to hold one-day strike, picket in Everett on June 24

Following the layoff of 10 union workers and two editors, Herald reporters, photographers, editors and designers and community members plan to picket to save jobs

Everett NewsGuild Layoff Picket
9am – 3pm PT Monday, June 24
LOCATION: Starting at the intersection of Colby and Hewitt in downtown
Everett, ending at the intersection of Colby and 41st near the Herald office.


Kaitlin Gillespie
Executive officer, Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild
(206) 669-3562 │

Sydney Jackson
Health reporter, NewsGuild member on the bargaining committee
(714) 791-8432 │

On Monday, June 24, at 9:00 a.m., instead of clocking into work at The Everett Herald, Everett NewsGuild members, represented by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, will participate in a one-day strike and picket in downtown Everett.

After a wave of layoffs Wednesday that cut newsroom staff in half, including 10 of 18 union workers, the Everett NewsGuild is asking new owner Carpenter Media Group to come to the bargaining table and reinstate these jobs.

“We are walking out to remind them that there is no product to leech off of without the journalists who go out and cover Snohomish County every day,” said Ryan Berry, a photographer on the bargaining committee who was laid off.

The NewsGuild is also protesting the company’s secretive use of a quota system in the layoff process that judged journalists not on the quality of their work, but on their story count and page views.

These layoffs would not only hurt union workers, but cause a tragic loss of talent in the newsroom. Everett NewsGuild members believe these cuts will damage the Herald’s ability to provide the quality local journalism readers deserve.

“The management at Sound Publishing and Carpenter Media Group have shown that they are in direct opposition to our mission as a reporting staff,” Berry said. “These are profit-driven businessmen who think nothing of the Herald’s staff, and even less of its readers.”

So far, layoffs include the executive editor, managing editor, page designer, web producer, six reporters and two photographers. Before cuts, the newsroom had five editors, one page designer, one web producer, 13 reporters and three photographers.

Out of the 12 layoffs, 10 were Everett NewsGuild members.

Under federal labor law, the employer cannot pursue the layoffs before negotiating with its Guild represented members. Newsroom unions across the country have successfully ensured protections for members facing the loss of a job.

In total, Carpenter Media plans to layoff at least 62 employees across Sound Publishing, the company said this week.

In a Herald article about the layoffs Wednesday, Publisher Rudi Alcott said “Moving forward, operations are not going to change much. The readers won’t notice.”

Alcott then removed the article from the website, calling it a “hit piece.” Editors and staff threatened to offer their immediate resignation if the story remained offline by the end of day Thursday.

In the re-published article, ownership at Carpenter Media Group added their perspective to say the layoffs were “part of a larger plan to improve the economics of the newspaper and better serve the community.”

The Everett NewsGuild formed in fall 2022 and has worked with ownership toward its first contract since March 2023.

For about a year, ownership sat on the union’s initial wage proposal, which would have provided living wages to Herald journalists in the competitive Puget Sound market. A single adult with no children must make at least $29.59 to afford to live in Snohomish County, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Living Wage Calculator.

On May 1, company leadership provided the NewsGuild its own wage proposal, with a starting wage of $19.50.

“It’s clear we need to build every protection we can into our contract both now and in the future,” said Jordan Hansen, a NewsGuild member and reporter who was not part of the layoffs. “That means the company needs to know we’re serious. We are serious about saving local journalism jobs and serious about receiving better wages.”

Workers will be picketing from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., supported by community members and local elected officials standing in solidarity to protect these important jobs.

“Being in the Everett NewsGuild has only made us stronger and we will show that on Monday,” Hansen said.


  • The Everett Herald is one of 43 media outlets in Washington and Alaska under Sound Publishing, the largest local news organization in Washington. The Herald is by far the most read, with 3.2 million monthly online page views and a print circulation of 18,627 each month.
  • The Herald is the oldest and most prominent source of news in Snohomish County, the third largest and fastest growing county in the state – projected to hit 1 million people in the next few years.
  • This year, Herald staff won seven regional Society of Professional Journalism awards.
  • On March 25, Sound Publishing’s longtime parent company, British Columbia-based Black Press, sold to new ownership after filing for Canadian creditor protection, a process similar to bankruptcy in the United States.The new ownership includes Mississippi-based Carpenter Media Group as well as two Canadian investors, Canso Investment Counsel and Deans Knight Capital Management.
  • When Carpenter acquired Black Press, the company more than doubled its size.
  • Carpenter Media owns more than 100 papers in the U.S. and has continued its shopping spree for other local newspapers, including about two dozen Oregon publications under Pamplin Media Group, the largest media company in the Portland metro area. Layoffs at The Herald have stoked fears for other Carpenter-owned papers.


The Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA Local #37082) represents more than 250 workers in Washington and Idaho, united in the belief that strong jobs preserve strong journalism in the Northwest. Find more at