News is grim today at the Gannett Corp., which owns The Clarion-Ledger. A company press release (PDF) reveals the news that earnings overall dropped 16 percent in 2008 and 22 percent in the last quarter alone. It is rumored that more job cuts are on their way to the Ledger, which has cut 25 percent of its positions in the last year. The paper recently dropped or combined some sections of the paper, further reducing its space for news coverage, and is banking on Metromix, an outlet of a national entertainment Web-site chain, to help make up for other losses. As the paper announced job cuts last year, it offered overtime pay to editorial staffers to go to local bars to take party pictures for the site. The publisher blames the local economy, and staffers say, is urging employees to shop more in local businesses. In recent years, The Clarion-Ledger has pushed a national ShopLocal service, which ironically heavily marketed big-box and chain retailers to local consumers. The current crisis is hitting big-box retailers hard, however, with many experts saying that local businesses, and media, are in a better position to weather the storm.