Cuts, cuts and more cuts

Economic hard times in the U.S. are showing in the newspaper biz. The Los Angeles Times announced today that it will slash 250 jobs from its payroll, in a story published in the paper’s business section.  A full 150 of these positions will be in editorial. As well, the newspaper said it plans to cut the number of pages it publishes each week by 15%.

Editor Russ Stanton blames the weak economy, particularly the troubled housing market in California, for declining advertising revenue. The Times quotes a staff memo from Stanton:

You all know the paradox we find ourselves in. Thanks to the Internet, we have more readers for our great journalism than at any time in our history. But also thanks to the Internet, our advertisers have more choices, and we have less money.

And on the other side of the U.S., the Tampa Tribune announced its own layoffs on July 2. According to an Associated Press story, the Tribune plans to cut 11 employees this week, and a further 10 by the fall.

In a related story, the Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee has said it will cut approximately 10% of its full-time staff of 1,300  due to declining ad sales and a struggle “to weather rising newsprint and fuel costs.”

Others that have announced cuts recently include the Hartford Courant, the Sun in Baltimore, the Palm Beach Post, the Daytona Beach-Journal in Florida, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press and the Boston Herald.

Here in Canada, Torstar, owner of Canada’s largest newspaper, the Toronto Star, cut 160 jobs in April, despite stable revenues in Canada’s newspaper business.

Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, takes a look at how cuts are affecting redesigns at newspapers with both news staff and news space decreasing, in a recent column.