By: KEN RITTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
(AP) The editorial staff at the Las Vegas Sun has been cut more than one-third since May as Nevada’s largest afternoon newspaper prepares to be folded into its larger morning rival, an editor said.
Nine reporters, editors and technicians are being laid off, bringing the number of positions eliminated from the newsroom to 35, Managing Editor Michael J. Kelley said Monday. Six weeks ago the Sun had 88 editorial positions.
“This is just a mission change,” Kelley said. “We can’t have the same staff.”
The Sun plans to begin publishing a six- to 10-page section seven mornings a week within the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Review-Journal has a weekday circulation of nearly 165,000. It already publishes the Sun on weekends in a combined edition. The Sun’s circulation had slipped in the past two years from about 42,000 subscribers to about 28,000.
Kelley said the nine employees were offered severance packages to stay through the Sept. 30 changeover date.
He put the current number of editorial employees at 53, and said most vacancies had been created through voluntary departures and not filling positions. Kelley said he expects to hire some editors, and no more layoffs were expected.
Kelley said the paper’s mission would shift to investigation, interpretation, and analysis of Las Vegas news, rather than spot news coverage.
The plan to fold the Sun into the Review-Journal has been submitted to the Justice Department, which administers a Joint Operating Agreement the two newspaper entered into in 1990.