L.A. Times Cutting 85 Newsroom Jobs
LA Times | November 16, 2005
The Los Angeles Times today announced it will reduce its workforce, including eliminating about 8% of its editorial staff.
In e-mails sent to employees, Publisher Jeff Johnson and Editor Dean Baquet announced the reductions, which had been rumored for days.
"Beginning this week and over the next three weeks, departments will be communicating specific initiatives including job reductions to their employees," Johnson said. "These are not easy decisions and we are not taking them lightly. However, given the current business climate, we feel these reductions are absolutely essential to succeed in 2006 and beyond."
The paper gave no number for the jobs to be eliminated paper wide. However, Baquet said about 85 newsroom jobs will be lost. There are about 1,032 editorial positions.
"A few of the cuts have already been made through attrition. Some will come through a voluntary separation program. But others, unfortunately, will come through layoffs," Baquet said.
"The exact breakdown won't be known until we see how many people apply for the voluntary separation package," he said.
The cutbacks had been expected. In recent weeks, staff reductions have been announced at other major newspapers and at many of the newspapers owned by Chicago-based Tribune Co., which owns the Times and KTLA Channel 5. Newspaper stocks have taken a beating as well. Tribune has been trading in the low to mid $30s, down from its high of $44 within the last year.
Both Baquet and Johnson emphasized that they were committed to continuing the Times' quality journalism and business standards.
"Now more than ever, we continue to be committed to The Times' mission of being the definitive voice in Southern California," Johnson said. "Our readers and advertisers expect that we cover their world in a way no other media company can both in print and online."
He said "specific initiatives underway include stepping up coverage on local and regional news, a relentless drive on building home delivery and single copy sales, as well as continued investment in latimes.com."
Baquet noted that "this is our second straight year of staff reductions, and this is a painful announcement to make. It is one I've worked hard to avoid.
"I'm aware that the newsroom has been anxiously waiting some announcement, and that this has created much distress. But it doesn't show in our paper. I can't tell you how grateful I am for the tremendous work every department has done throughout an uncertain time."
"The Times is the most resilient newspaper in the country," Baquet said. "It is one of the reasons we love it. We're in for a few difficult weeks, but we will get through this."
Last modified November 17, 2005