Los Angeles Times staffers fear more layoffs coming

October 20, 2009

We feel like we’ve read this bad news before. Our sources tell us that they are expecting another round of layoffs in the Los Angeles Times newsroom. They said that people thought a few dozen editorial staffers could get their walking papers this week, though someone else close to the paper whom we spoke cautioned that amount was too extreme.

The paper hasn’t scheduled any meetings or circulated any memos, the sources said. In other words, all this could change. A Times spokeswoman declined to comment.

The blog Laobserved.com, which follows the Times closely, reported that at least one reporter, Tina Daunt, has posted on her Facebook page that she has been canned. “More expected through the day,” the blog also reported.

The LA Times is part of Tribune Co, the bankrupt, Chicago-based newspaper publisher and television broadcaster that also owns the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Orlando Sentinel, among others. Times are tough at Tribune’s newspapers, as well as other papers around the nation.

USA Today and many other papers are set to report big declines in circulation next Monday (though some of that is actually a good thing, which we’ll explain in a subsequent blog post), and publishers such as Gannett Co Inc and McClatchy have been making their quarterly numbers only because of big cost cut — of which layoffs are a major part. The New York TImes, which has the largest newspaper editorial staff in the nation, said on Monday that it will slice 100 jobs through buyouts and maybe layoffs from its newsroom. The Charlotte Observer, a McClatchy paper, is offering buyouts too.

— Additional reporting, writing, nattering by Robert MacMillan in New York.

(Photo: Reuters)

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