TRIBUNE LAYS OFF 34 AT LA TIMES SYNDICATE

By: Dave Astor

Domestic Syndication, Multimedia Being Absorbed





Tribune Media Services announced late yesterday that it’s laying off 34 Los Angeles Times Syndicate staffers as it integrates LATS’ domestic syndication and multimedia operations into TMS’ Chicago headquarters.



The move essentially ends the 51-year-old LATS as a separate entity. Forty-three people will continue to work for Los Angeles Times Syndicate International and the NewsCom online content distribution subsidiary, with 24 in Los Angeles and 19 in five regional and international offices.



LATS Senior Vice President for New Media Steve Christensen and Vice President for U.S. Syndication Anita Tobias were among those let go by TMS, which had announced this summer that it would absorb LATS into its operations (Syndicate World, Aug. 14). Some of the 34 will leave almost immediately and others may stay for as long as several months.



TMS – whose Tribune Co. parent acquired LATS parent Times Mirror in March – also announced that it will add nine staffers to its Chicago headquarters over the new few months, with possibly one or two of them from LATS. There were no layoffs at TMS.



LATS features are now syndicated domestically by TMS, which will evaluate which ones to keep or drop over the next few months.



A LATS staffer said late yesterday that “everybody is pretty upset” about the layoffs. TMS said “generous” severance packages were offered.



TMS President and CEO David Williams said in a statement, “A joint LATS-TMS team identified many efficiencies and opportunities for combining key functions and business components. This integration will establish TMS as a much stronger and diverse business.”





Dave Astor (dastor@editorandpublisher.com) is a senior editor at E&P.





Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher.

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