The Los Angeles Times is cutting its newsroom jobs by more than 10 percent, its executive editor Kevin Merida said Wednesday.
In an email to employees, Mr Merida said the company was restructuring and would eliminate 74 roles as a result. Hillary Manning, a spokeswoman for the news organization, said about 500 people would be there.
“The reorganization stems from the same persistent economic constraints facing news media across the country,” Merida said in the email, which was obtained by The New York Times. “Collectively, we have done a tremendous amount of work as a company to address budget and revenue challenges. But that work will need to accelerate, and we will need to make more radical changes in the newsroom to become a self-sustaining enterprise.” – Will need a mortise change.
Mr. Merida also said that while “the weeks and months ahead will test us as a newsroom,” he remained “extremely confident” about the publication’s future.
“We are on the verge, I believe, of doing something extraordinary,” he said, “transforming a 141-year-old newspaper into a truly next-generation digital powerhouse that serves the people of this city, and the world, in unique ways.” From.
Mr. Merida was hired two years ago to lead the newsroom and help it compete nationally. Last month, the Los Angeles Times won two Pulitzer Prizes: for breaking news reporting and for feature photography.
The Los Angeles Times is owned by billionaire biotech entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michelle B. Chan, who bought the paper and other publications from Tribune in 2018 for $500 million. Dr. Soon-Shiong invested in the newsroom, adding approximately 150 journalists.
Ms. Manning, the spokeswoman, said in a statement that the economics of operating the media business had become “increasingly challenging” since the pandemic began and that the company was in a position to navigate this year and beyond.
She declined to comment on which classes would be affected by the cuts, but the Los Angeles Times reported that some editing, audio production and audience engagement roles would be included. Those who are being laid off were to be informed on Wednesday.
Reed Johnson, president of the LA Times Guild’s unit council, said in a statement that the union was outraged by the decision, which will affect about 15 percent of union members in the newsroom.
“We were blindsided by the news,” he said. “The management did not consult us beforehand about other options to cut costs and save money, short of layoffs. We have been negotiating a new contract since September, and this was never indicated during the negotiations.
Other media organizations have also made cuts in recent months, including CNN, Gannett, The Washington Post and NPR.