The Los Angeles Times announced over 100 journalists would be laid off Tuesday as the media outlet lost as much as $40 million a year, according to multiple outlets.
The newspaper will reduce its newsroom staff by 20%, one of the biggest cuts in its 142-year history, the outlet’s Meg James reported. Among those who were axed included the chief and deputy chief of the paper’s Washington, D.C., bureau, along with its business editor, the music editor and books editor.
Two of the paper’s four managing editors resigned prior to the announcement of the layoffs, adding to the uncertainty around the media outlet, according to CNN. Other outlets, including the Washington Post, Vox and Yahoo News, made cuts in 2023, CNN reported in December.
L.A. Times began laying off at least 115 people in the newsroom beginning today in an effort to stem deep financial losses. Many cherished colleagues – including some with years of service – are being forced to say good-bye. @latimes https://t.co/rQDX4pFI9x
— Meg James (@MegJamesLAT) January 23, 2024
“We have a billionaire who doesn’t understand media and thinks he can cut his way to success,” one staffer told CNN’s Oliver Darcy.
“I cannot overstate the level of chaos,” a second staffer told the CNN media reporter.
A previous round of layoffs in June reduced the newsroom staff by about 13%, NPR reported, with 74 people being laid off.
Staffers at the paper walked out Friday to protest the planned cuts, according to CNN. The L.A. Times Guild did not respond to Tuesday’s announcement, but ripped the previous layoffs in a statement in June.
“Today’s decision is painful for all, but it is imperative that we act urgently and take steps to build a sustainable and thriving paper for the next generation. We are committed to doing so,” owner Patrick Soon-Shiong told James Tuesday, noting that the paper was suffering annual losses of between $30 and $40 million a year.
“The decision to proceed with layoffs was incredibly difficult, and was made only after evaluating all other viable options,” a spokesperson for the outlet told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Los Angeles Times newsroom remains the largest in the West and one of the largest in the country, and our ambitious journalism will continue.”
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