The Los Angeles Times is reducing its newsroom staff by 13%, eliminating 74 positions, the Times reported on Wednesday.
The decision was “made more urgent by the economic climate and the unique challenges of our industry,” Kevin Merida, executive editor, wrote in a note to staff announcing the layoffs.
But L.A. Times Guild leader Reed Johnson said: “We were blindsided by this news,” according to the Times. “Management did not consult us in advance about other options for cutting costs and saving money, short of layoffs. We have been bargaining a new contract since September, and this was never hinted at during bargaining.”
Merida noted, “We will be saying goodbye to some tremendous colleagues.” Roughly 500 staffers will remain.
The Times reports that the cuts will affect both full-time and temporary workers, including production staff, news and copy desk editors, photographers, audio producers and a handful of managers. Reporting positions will be mostly spared.
This is the first significant layoff since the Times was acquired five years ago by Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife Michele.