‘Chicago Tribune’ to Ax 120 Jobs As Slide Continues

By: E&P Staff

The Chicago Tribune, later in a day that saw parent Tribune Co. confirmed a rough 2Q for profits, announced plans to cut around 120 positions. The newspaper’s workforce is about 3,000.

Publisher David Hiller said Thursday that about 40 of these jobs have been vacant and that no decision has been made on how many jobs each department and operation will lose.

“We would hope to have most of this decided by Labor Day .. and, as much as possible, completed,” said Hiller, according to the newspaper. The paper hopes to avoid outright layoffs.

“Our reason to try to speed up our action on the cost side has to do with our Chicago Tribune results in the first half of the year, which were well weaker than we had planned,” Hiller said in an interview with the Tribune. “The cost savings as part of the $200 million that were planned over time, what we’re doing is accelerating some of that … accelerating cost reductions that otherwise would have been next year.”

The Tribune story continued: “However, Hiller said, the newspaper will be investing where it sees growth potential, including Internet operations and its free paper, Red Eye. He cited a $75 million upgrade at the paper’s Freedom Center printing facility, which he said will enable the Tempo feature section to print the night before delivery starting this fall rather than a day in advance, as it now is.

Hiller said “these things are hard and painful” for employees, “but we’re not facing anything that anybody in the rest of the media industry or, frankly, the rest of American industry, isn’t.”

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