Los Angeles Times slashes more than 20% of newsroom staff as the paper confronts a ‘financial crisis’
The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, facing what senior leadership described this week as a “financial crisis,” commenced a round of painful layoffs across the newsroom, a workforce reduction that is set to be one of the most severe in the newspaper’s 142-year history.
The cuts will impact at least 115 journalists, the newspaper reported, or slightly more than approximately 20% of the newsroom. Some 94 of those cuts will be among unionized employees, union chief Matt Pearce said, meaning a quarter of the union will be laid off.
Pearce described the total number of employees being laid off as a “devastating” figure, but said it was “nonetheless far lower than the total number” expected last week.
A spokesperson for The Times, which is owned by biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, did not immediately comment.
The newspaper, which houses the largest newsroom in the western US, has plunged into disarray in recent weeks as it faces a major financial shortfall, losing tens of millions of dollars a year. Its top editor, Kevin Merida, suddenly announced his departure. And two of the four members of an interim leadership team announced by Soon-Shiong have also abruptly exited in recent days.