The Los Angeles Times is facing hard times. The California newsroom is expected to see massive cuts amounting to about $10 million, Poynter reported Tuesday. That includes about 80 staff reductions, according to an executive from Tribune Publishing, the owner of the Los Angeles Times and 10 other daily newspapers across the nation.
Other Tribune papers also could see layoffs. “It’s the only way Jack will make his number,” the source told Poynter, referring to Tribune CEO Jack Griffin.
Los Angeles Times workers would initially have the option to participate in buyouts based on an offer of one week's pay for an employee’s first 10 years of service, two weeks for the next 10 years, and three weeks for having served between 20 and 30 years. If that doesn't reach the desired goal, the newspaper could see layoffs.
Griffin recently dismissed the newspaper's publisher, Austin Beutner, a former Los Angeles deputy mayor. He was replaced by Tim Ryan, the former publisher of the Baltimore Sun, where he ushered in significant cost reductions.
The financial troubles mark the latest budget crisis for Tribune, one of the nation’s largest media companies. In 2013, Tribune announced a “restructuring” that sought to eliminate nearly 700 jobs at the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and six other daily newspapers. "We have decided to unify the non-editorial functions of our publishing businesses,” but “creating these critical efficiencies and ensuring the long-term strength of our mastheads will, unfortunately, result in the selective reduction of our publishing staff," said Peter Liguori, the president and CEO of the Chicago-based company at the time.
Big newsroom cuts coming at L.A Times amid protests over publisher being booted. Other Trib papers may be targeted. http://t.co/VzPRklQj6g
— Jim Warren (@JimWarren55) September 15, 2015
In June, the Chicago Tribune announced about two dozen layoffs, including 10 in the newsroom. Months earlier, in March, Tribune Publishing said it planned to lower expenses by $65 million to $70 million for 2015. The newspaper chain has been hit hard by declines in advertising and saw operating revenues drop by nearly 5 percent last year to $1.7 billion.
About 500 people work for the Los Angeles Times, down from 1,000 about a decade ago.