MediaFile

Los Angeles Times staffers fear more layoffs coming

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.

New York Times job cuts: Read the memo

The New York Times will cut 100 positions in its newsroom by the end of the year, Executive Editor Bill Keller told staff on Monday. This is the second time that the paper has taken this unfortunate step, having cut 100 positions last year (though, as Richard Perez-Pena reported in his story on nytimes.com, other positions were added so it was not a net reduction). Thing is, the TImes already cut pay for journalists and other employees this year in an attempt to forestall cuts. So… it’s not good news, but it is fit to print. Here is Keller’s memo:

Colleagues,

I had planned to invite you to the newsroom and break this news in person today, but I’ve been hit by something that seems to be the flu. Though I strongly believe in delivering bad news in person, I don’t want to add insult to injury by spreading infection.

Let me cut to the chase: We have been told to reduce the newsroom by 100 positions between now and the end of the year.

Help a starving business reporter

They moved your markets. Now you can move their bank accounts.

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers, or SABEW, is hosting an event┬ánext week at Columbia University’s School of Journalism to help business journalists who have lost their jobs or found themselves in other tough straits because of the biggest story on every business reporter’s beat — the financial crisis. Here is the text of the invitation:

Former Wall Street Journal Managing Editor and ProPublica founder Paul Steiger, and New York Times Business Editor Larry Ingrassia invite you to join them at an event to benefit business journalism and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW).

SABEW needs your support to help displaced business journalists and train business journalists for the digital age and new media landscape. Among SABEW’s programs are a revamped job listing site, a market for freelancers to find work, a mentor program for displaced journalists, teletraining on multimedia and business journalism topics, scholarships to attend conferences and training, and a revamp of our website to provide more robust services to members.

Baltimore Sun fires reporters during baseball game

The headline says it all, and adds a nasty twist to this week’s purge at The Sun in Baltimore. Here’s part of The Guardian’s report on how the Tribune-owned Sun did the deed:

The group, consisting of three writers and a photographer, were told the news as they reported back from a game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels in a move that was documented by a fellow reporter online.

“Tough times in the newspaper biz,” wrote the OC Register’s Bill Plunkett as an aside during his inning-by-inning update from the game. “Two writers for the Baltimore Sun in the press box here got the news – by phone, during the game – that they had been laid off in the latest round of cost-cutting. Stay classy, Baltimore Sun management.”