LAYOFFS MAY BE PENDING AT LA TIMES

By: Neal Koch

Newspaper Is Being Restructured By Tribune Co.


LOS ANGELES – Staff morale continues to fall at the Los
Angeles Times amid rumors of impending layoffs next week
across all editorial departments. Times spokeswoman Martha
Goldstein issued only a partial denial when asked about the
rumors by E&P Online.

“We have no plans within the next week or so to layoff staff here
at the Times,” she said. But pressed about whether the
cuts, as described, might take place in the near future, she
would say only, “I have no comments beyond what you have just
asked.”

Editor John Carroll has avoided the subject, as well. Earlier
this week, at a staff briefing, according to one journalist
present, “He had very few answers when questioned about personnel
matters. He didn’t confirm anything, nor did he deny anything.”

The rumors come in the midst of a major restructuring of the
paper’s editorial department which has been in the works since
the Times’ parent, Times Mirror Co. was bought by the
Tribune Co. last year. For example, on March 21, San Fernando
Valley edition Editor Lew Leader told his staff in a meeting that
all four Valley edition columns will be cut, two of the writers
laid off, two reassigned, a chunk of editors and reporters
shipped to the paper’s downtown headquarters, and that some jobs
would go unfilled.



Neal Koch (nkoch@mediaone.net) is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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