Aug 12, 2009

Layoffs at the Union-Tribune*,**,***

The Boston Globe signaled last week that layoffs were coming to the San Diego Union-Tribune and now the Voice of San Diego has confirmed the cuts are underway:
Bob Kittle, the editorial page editor at The San Diego Union-Tribune, has been laid off, according to newsroom sources. So has Bernie Jones, the editor of the newspaper's opinion page. ...

The newspaper is in the midst of laying off staffers throughout the business. We're working to confirm the size and scope of the layoffs[.]
The Globe mentioned the pending layoffs in a profile of the paper's new owner, Platinum Equity of Beverly Hill. The company, which bought the Union-Tribune in May and promptly laid off 192 employees, has put in a bid to buy the Globe from the New York Times Co.

*Update: PaidContent reports 200 people have been laid off at the Union-Tribune, which would cut the total workforce to 650.

Here's a part of the U-T's story announcing the layoffs and other changes at the paper:

The San Diego Union-Tribune said Wednesday that it is eliminating an undisclosed number of jobs as part of a package of initiatives that also includes new editorial and advertising offerings.

The company announced an advertising program that will allow micro-zoning for small businesses at lower, localized rates, as well as an editorial effort that will produce more local coverage of targeted communities.

It also announced a planned redesign of the company's Web site, as well as an investment in a pagination publishing system it said would significantly streamline the newspaper's production process.

The company also said it would partially reverse pay cuts for remaining employees that were implemented in February.

“These initiatives, taken as a whole, strike a balance between our short-term economic reality and our long-term aspirations for growth and reinvention of our product,” Union-Tribune Publisher Ed Moss said.

(h/t LA Biz Observed)

**Update II: According to the communications director for San Diego County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, the U-T has fired military reporter Rick Rogers, cops reporter Mark Arner, photographer Laura Embry and North County editor Jim Okerblom.

(h/t Romenesko)

***Updated: The Union-Tribune has reported that the number of laid off is 112, not the 200 PaidContent reported.


Anonymous said...

just the very beginning from little eddie. it will go on this way for months and months, even if revenue improves. what he does isn't worth what they are paying him. his past track record is all the proof you need. has anything grown under his watch other than the unemployment line and employee discord?

Anonymous said...

destroying another good paper.

Anonymous said...

Ed Moss doesn't speak the truth. In an Editor & Publisher story today he talks about editorial and advertising iniatives. There will be none that don't involve cutting jobs and sections. Look at the record.

As far as advertising, Eddie, what are you going to do? The same waste of time innovations that failed at LANG and other stops you have had? Maybe you can bring back newspapers next and money losing magazines. Don't forget all of those consultants you brought in that helped drive LANG further in the ground.

You don't have a clue how to grow and you know it. You are a one trick poney and the trick is old.

Anonymous said...

there are 650 people at the San Diego paper?

Anonymous said...

The time-wasting innovations are the distraction from the cutting. Managers are assigned to thinking and talking about the account-shuffling innovations (rehashed special sections in spam cans labeled niche) while the work is cutting.

Laidoffguy said...

Maybe all of the laid off editors could become copy writers for profitable blogs.

There are still quite a few people who read news print, but between TV, radio, and the Internet, many of us get all the news we need or want. I haven't picked up a newspaper in a couple months.

The owners of these newspaper companies may want to look at other media revenue sources if they are to survive

Anonymous said...

PaidContent ran a correction yesterday about the number of people laid off: it was 112, not 200. That's still 112 too many, but shouldn't you correct the mistake as well? It's hard enough to deal with reality of the real number of people laid off, but it does a great disservice when those (already awful) numbers are inflated.

You're on the internets; you don't need to wait a day (and counting) to correct a mistake.

Gary Scott said...

to MJPtp1: I posted the 112 number back on Thursday. Here's the link:

However, you are right that I should update this post as well.

Anonymous said...


Much appreciated. And I apologize for that last comment... it's been a long week, but it wasn't necessary.