Qwest layoffs begin with US West pros

DENVER: Sixty-four internal PR jobs have been shed at Qwest, all of which were held by former US West employees, the company that Qwest recently acquired.

DENVER: Sixty-four internal PR jobs have been shed at Qwest, all of which were held by former US West employees, the company that Qwest recently acquired.

DENVER: Sixty-four internal PR jobs have been shed at Qwest, all of which were held by former US West employees, the company that Qwest recently acquired.

The reduction in staff follows the telecommunication company's September 7 announcement that its total job reductions would number 11,000 by the end of 2001.

There were 90 people working in PR for US West, in such functions as internal communications and community relations. The seven people who formed Qwest's original PR team have all retained their jobs. The department now numbers 33 in total, 26 from US West.

The reduction signals an increased reliance on agencies in an effort to reduce costs, said a spokesman.

Qwest currently uses Alexander Ogilvy and Shandwick, which usually concentrate on media relations work. Tarpey also said a number of US West's staff members had already decided to leave the company.

Qwest completed the acquisition of US West at the end of June and initiated internal reviews of all departments. The PR division was one of the first to complete the process, according to Matt Barkett, director of corporate communications.



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