Subscriber sues N.C. newspaper over job cuts

Here's a creative way to protest staff cuts at your daily paper: Sue 'em.

McClatchy Corp.'s Raleigh News & Observer, the target of just such a lawsuit, reports:

Keith Hempstead, a Durham lawyer, filed the suit last month in Wake Superior Court. He says he renewed his subscription in May just before the paper announced on June 16 the layoffs of 70 staff members and cuts in news pages.

The paper, he says, is now not worth what he signed up for and therefore the cuts breached the paper's contract with him.

A former reporter for other newspapers in eastern North Carolina, Hempstead holds a journalism degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a law degree from N.C. Central University. He acknowledges he could have simply canceled the subscription but wanted to get the industry's attention and make a point about what he calls the "pointless" way newspapers are being run.

Hempstead, who says he still loves the N&O, is seeking unspecified damages and attorney's fees.