Eleven Mail Tribune and Daily Tidings employees, including four in the newsroom, were laid off today.

Eleven Mail Tribune and Daily Tidings employees, including four in the newsroom, were laid off today.

The layoffs were part of company-wide staff reduction of nearly 5 percent by Cambell Hall, N.Y-based Ottaway Newspapers Inc.

In an announcement today, Ottaway said the move comes only after the company has made other changes, including leaving positions open and adjusting other expenses.

The chain's chief executive officer, John Wilcox, said the decision is not connected to possible sale of its newspapers. News Corp, Ottaway's parent company, sought a buyer or buyers for its eight daily and 14 weekly newspapers as well as the company's community Internet sites.

The decision to eliminate positions at this time is not connected to management's ongoing evaluation of the company's strategic alternatives, said Wilcox. Positions were eliminated at a variety of departments at Ottaway's media groups and at corporate headquarters.

"Newspaper companies across the country have been making adjustments to their workforce, seeking ways to become more efficient," Wilcox said in a statement. "Despite the dominance of our media groups in print and Internet in their markets, increased competition and changing economic conditions affect our ability to meet our goals."

— Greg Stiles