With the biggest recent news coming from the Tribune Publishing, who holdings include the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.
The long-anticipated staff cuts at The Los Angeles Times will begin this week and will likely target at least one-tenth of the paper’s newsroom, CNNMoney has learned.
On Monday, Tribune Publishing (TPUB) announced a new “Employee Voluntary Separation Program” (read: buyouts) and warned that “there may or may not be a need for additional involuntary reductions” (read: layoffs) if Tribune fails to meet its staff reduction goals.
The cuts will come across Tribune Publishing, which owns the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and some regional papers. But no paper is expected to be harder hit than the Times. At least 50 editorial positions are expected to be cut, whittling the Times newsroom down to fewer than 450 staffers, sources with knowledge of the situation said.
Tribune employees will have until October 23 to submit buyout applications. If Tribune does not meet its staff reduction goals by then, it will move to layoffs.
More from Kevin Roderick at LAObserved:
Employees at the Los Angeles Times have until Oct. 23 to apply for the new buyout offer unveiled today and being sent to homes this week. Just about everyone on staff for at least a year is eligible to apply. It comes with a big inducement for older staffers. If you are still working at the paper on Dec. 31, you will no longer receive any retiree medical coverage should you stay at the paper long enough to retire. If you leave before Dec. 31, you will get the previously promised retiree medical coverage (for as long as the company still offers that benefit.)
This is for all of the Tribune Publishing’s newspapers and there’s no attempt to hide that this is about reducing costs. The company’s stock price is in the tank and revenues are down, especially in Los Angeles, apparently. I expect to see a lot of more senior LAT staffers take this buyout, especially now with the retirement inducement. Apparently the severance portion will be paid out as salary rather than as a lump sum, so the tax bite is lessened and health benefits are retained during the payout time. If I am reading that correctly. It’s unknown exactly how many people the LA Times will allow to leave, but speculation is that the target dollar figure adds up to between 50 and 80 positions.
Beantown journalists are also facing the chop, as Boston magazine reports:
Boston.com’s rough month continued on Tuesday when a dozen staffers were let go in an afternoon bloodletting at the Boston Globe-owned property.
The news of layoffs comes a day after the site’s former editor-in-chief Tim Molloy left and less than a week after it was announced that general manager Corey Gottlieb would depart for the daily fantasy sports site DraftKings. Gottlieb was one of the people who spoke to employees when they were informed they were being let go, according to those familiar with the situation.
The pair were replaced by former Boston magazine digital editor Kaitlyn Johnston and Eleanor Cleverly, Boston.com’s executive director of digital strategy and operations.
The disaster plaguing print is hitting alternative as well as mainstream papers, as in this instance covered by CityLab:
Philadelphia City Paper will cease to exist on October 8, according to Wednesday’s announcement by Broad Street Media, the new owner of what it describes as the publication’s “intellectual property.” It was only after that article (which resembles a press release) was posted online at one of the company’s outlets that City Paper’s editorial staff actually found out—not by hearing from anyone in charge, but from a flood of texts from friends and requests for comment from other media outlets.
The end always seemed around the corner during my roughly four years at City Paper, where I was a staff reporter until this spring. The page count had long since shrunk into the mid-double digits. Last summer, we were sold to the company that owns Metro, a free daily newspaper that in depth, style, and frequency of publication was our antithesis. Now Metro has turned over the paper to Broad Street Media, where it will be absorbed by the long-ago-eviscerated Philadelphia Weekly. I have no idea what that means except that City Paper editorial staff has been laid off, and that alarmingly, according to a post by my former colleagues, they expect the paper’s web archives will “vanish along with us.”
A Romenesko reader writes: “I am not eligible for the early retirement buyout, but several of my colleagues are. They feel like they are now being pressured to take it, even though it’s supposed to be completely voluntary.
“They also see this line as a veiled threat: ‘If we don’t achieve our goals, we will need to re-evaluate where we stand and we can’t rule out implementing other actions in the future.’”
Chief People Officer
As mentioned earlier – the program is completely voluntary. We will finalize acceptances after the 45-day consideration period has closed, which is Oct. 12, 2015.
A notable California print closing will sees the end of the San Francisco-based California Lawyer, reports Romenesko:
California Lawyer, which called itself “the nation’s leading legal magazine,” has been killed by parent company Daily Journal Corporation.09Cover-210×276 Two employees confirmed that the memo below was distributed on Wednesday. I’m still trying to find out how many people lost jobs. Please email me if you have information. UPDATE: A tipster writes: “The toll is seven full-time staff: Editor, a senior editor, associate editor, copy chief, design director, art director and production manager.”
At 9:30 this morning a representative from the Daily Journal Corporation announced to staff that CALIFORNIA LAWYER would cease publication in the print and digital editions, as of the October issue.
Termination for all staff is immediate, as of September 30, 2015. At the close of work today our dailyjournal.com email will no longer function.
Finally, there’s another hemorrhaging plaguing the nation’s Fourth Estate, signaled by a new survey from Gallup, “Americans’ Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low”: