Los Angeles Times slashes jobs as Tribune reports difficult numbers

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The Los Angeles Times building. (Photo: Flickr / LA Wad)

More pink slips have gone out at the Los Angeles Times.

The paper’s executive and managing editors told colleagues on Friday that the company had “completed a modest round of staff reductions.”

A source told media journalist Jim Romenesko that the pink slips went to “half the graphics department” and “a Metro reporter in Orange County.”

Reporters Jori Finkel and Mike Anton were among those laid off, according to a report by Variety. The publication reported the total number of jobs lost in this latest round of cuts at 11.

The memo went on to say that the layoffs “does not alter our mission for the future.” That future includes developing new media skills and a relaunch of the Los Angeles Times website — an indication that the paper is making more investments in things and less investments in people.

The Los Angeles Times has struggled to prevent layoffs since parent company Tribune declared bankruptcy in 2008. The company has laid off dozens of newsroom employees every year for the past five years, according to the website NewspaperLayoffs.com.

The pink slip reports were followed by Tribune’s disclosure of its quarterly earnings, which showed a steep year-over-year profit loss. Tribune’s net income plunged 41% in Q1 of 2013 compared to the same quarter a year earlier.

Tribune said it had eliminated approximately 250 newspaper jobs in the first quarter of 2013. Tribune, which emerged from bankruptcy at the beginning of the year, is considering a sale of its eight newspapers with the idea of focusing on its broadcast properties (the company’s operating profit in its broadcast division was down 26% since last year).

The company does not trade publicly, but was required to disclose its earning as a condition of its emergence from bankruptcy. An article on the Los Angeles Times website said companies “trying to deflect attention from bad news often released earnings late on a Friday,” as its parent company appears to have done.

Variety: Fresh round of layoffs at the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times: Profit at Tribune Company plummets