Los Angeles Times Announces Major Newsroom Layoffs Amid Economic Struggles

The Los Angeles Times, a renowned news organization, has announced a significant reduction in its newsroom staff due to economic pressures resulting from declining advertising and print readership. The newspaper plans to eliminate 74 positions, which equates to about 13% of the total newsroom staff. The layoffs will affect full-time and temporary workers, including some managers, with the production staff facing a significant cutback.

Kevin Merida, the Times’ Executive Editor, conveyed the decision in a note to the newsroom, emphasizing the urgency of the situation due to the economic climate and the unique challenges faced by the industry. The layoffs have been met with strong criticism from the L.A. Times Guild, with leader Reed Johnson labeling the decision as “outrageous and reckless.”

This restructuring marks the first significant downsizing since Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele, acquired the paper five years ago. Despite their efforts to revitalize the Times, including the addition of over 150 journalists and the launch of an entertainment studio, the paper has struggled to recover financially due to the COVID-19 health crisis and an industry-wide slowdown in advertising sales and subscriptions.

The layoffs announcement comes just weeks after The Times celebrated two Pulitzer Prizes. Despite the current challenges, Merida remains optimistic about the future, expressing his belief in the Times’ potential to transform into a “truly next-generation digital powerhouse.”

After the layoffs, approximately 500 newsroom employees will remain. The Times continues to focus on its long-term plans to transform into a self-sustaining institution that will serve the community for generations to come.

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