Blood on the Newsroom Floor: Los Angeles, Denver


An update to yesterday’s post on Los Angeles Times layoffs and a new report on layoffs at the Denver Post, which is owned by the same company that controls the lion’s share of California newspaper circulation.

Layoffs in Denver could signal another round of downsizing to come here in the Golden State.

Los Angeles Times, bodies falling

From Lucas Shaw of The Wrap:

The L.A. Times, mired in its fourth year of bankruptcy, went through yet another round of newsroom cuts on Tuesday, leaving its editorial staff unnerved by continuing cutbacks and an uncertain future.

The elimination of 12 to 20 positions was announced to the newsroom in December, but Tuesday’s cuts hit more departments than originally expected. This is just the latest in a wave of departures that has plagued the Times over the past several years.

Numerous insiders have described morale at the Times as at an all-time low.

Some of that is due to layoffs, but some is also attributable to the lack of resolution in the Tribune Company’s bankruptcy case. A judge will hear the Tribune’s latest proposal for a reorganization plan in May.

On Tuesday, Craig Turner, the No. 2 editor in arts and entertainment and a Times veteran of more than 40 years, volunteered for a buyout.

Shari Roan, a health writer for more than 22 years at the Times, was let go.

Read the rest.

Kevin Roderick of LA Observed has more on Turner’s departure:

Craig Turner, currently the Arts and Entertainment editor, confirms that he stepped forward for a buyout and will be retiring from the Los Angeles Times. He has been with the paper almost 41 years, as a reporter at the United Nations and in Canada and elsewhere, as Metropolitan Editor for several years, and in other positions. “This place has been great to me and I love and admire the people here, but after nearly 41 years there are other things I want to do while I can,” Turner emails.

Read the rest.

And this from Matthew Debord of KPCC radio in Los Angeles:

Layoffs have become a fact of life at the LAT, whose parent, Tribune Co., is still in bankruptcy. What appears to be going on now is that the paper is chopping back on its features and special sections, concentrating instead on news, business, sports, and entertainment — the core coverage areas. Three stand-alone weekly section, for example, were recently rolled into one Saturday section.

This happened at the same time the LAT announced the introduction of a paywall.

Read the rest.

Denver Post wields the chopper

The Post, which esnl read religiously way back in the 1950s and early 1960s, is the flagship paper of MediaNews Group Inc., a chain that counts among its holdings most of the newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area and many of those in the Los Angeles metropolitan region as well.

Layoffs in Denver could mean more in California.

From ColoradoPols:

More Layoffs Hit Declining Denver Post

That’s the word from our sources this morning–yesterday, responding to continuing declines in revenue, The Denver Post once again began laying off newsroom and editorial staff. We’ve learned that columnists Mike Littwin and Penny Parker were let go yesterday. The loss of Littwin in particular, one of the Denver Post’s best pickups from the ashes of the Rocky Mountain News, will greatly harm the landscape of political commentary in our state.

We’re told that the Post must cut some $500,000 in newsroom overhead, and that more layoffs are imminent throughout the organization. As soon as we have names, we’ll share them.

Read the rest.

More from Michael Roberts at West Word:

Earlier today, I reported that the Denver Post has laid off two of its most prominent staffers, Penny Parker and Mike Littwin; see our original post below. Shortly thereafter, I was able to reach Parker, who was blindsided by this unexpected move and still struggling to process it. From what she hears, though, more big changes at the paper could be on the way, and soon.

“Apparently, more is coming down today,” Parker says.

To put it mildly, Parker didn’t see the layoff coming. “Kick me in the head, seriously. I knew nothing, nothing. My poor, 33-year-old boss” — business editor Kristi Arellano — “had to tell me. I feel really bad for her. This is not what she signed on for.”

She adds that “I would have expected Greg Moore,” the Post’s editor, “to have called me. He didn’t, and I’m disappointed.”

Read the rest.

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