Church Publishing cuts workforce 40%

Beginning December 31, 2010, Church Publishing Incorporated will reduce their workforce by 40% and close the Denver office.

An announcement Wednesday to CPI staff from Dennis Sullivan, President of the Church Pension Group, described the cuts to all CPI employees. Publishing activities will be reduced, 16 positions will be eliminated, and CPI will close its office in Denver.

The reason for the cuts is that the publishing industry generally depressed and the publisher, whose market is mainly focused on the Episcopal Church, is finding the market is stressed and limited. Religious publishing is suffering more in the current market than other parts of the publishing industry.

Church Publishing Incorporated (CPI) acquired Morehouse Publishing and Living the Good News in 2005.

In the letter to the CPI staff, Sullivan said:

In 2009, in response to the changing economy and as responsible stewards of its resources, CPI implemented a change in strategy, scaling back publishing activity in Seabury Books, focusing on its core mission to the Church, actively pursuing its involvement in electronic publishing, and implementing a 30% staff reduction.

Eighteen months later, all segments of the publishing industry remain severely depressed, and publishers across the country are reexamining the organization, product lines, and staffing of their businesses.

CPI faces the additional challenge that the natural market for its products – the Episcopal Church – is finite, and dealing with its own economic stress.

There is no doubt that CPI is providing extraordinary mission-critical service to the Church, and is operating with a strategic plan that is appropriate. But it has become necessary to reconcile the aspirations of CPI as a denominational publisher with the financial realities it faces.

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