The Los Angeles Times plans to lay off about 13% of its newsroom staff, a significant reduction in the workforce.
Context: This first major round of job cuts since the acquisition of the paper in 2018 by billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong, who had aimed to protect the L.A. Times from a series of cutbacks like this.
* During the pandemic, there was a smaller round of layoffs.
Citing tough times: L.A. Times executives announced the layoffs due to the “difficult economic operating environment.”
* Executive Editor Kevin Merida called the decision to lay off colleagues “agonizing” in a memo to staff.
By the numbers: Approximately 74 journalists are expected to lose their jobs, leaving around 500 newsroom employees remaining.
Union response: NewsGuild, the union representing the paper’s newsroom staff, said they were “blind-sided” by the announcement and called for negotiation of alternatives, such as voluntary buyouts.
* The prior contract expired in November, and negotiations for a new one have been ongoing since September with little progress.
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