TVBizwire

700 Jobs to Be Cut as Media Company Restructures LA Times

A major media corporation that owns television, radio and newspaper operations has announced a restructuring that will result in job cuts, primarily in the company's newspaper unit. The Los Angeles Times reports that Tribune Co., which owns the Times, unveiled the plan today.

The restructuring will include a 6% staff reduction, resulting in the loss of almost 700 jobs during the next year, the report notes.

The cuts "will largely involve operations personnel rather than reporters and editors at its eight daily papers, Peter Liguori, Tribune’s chief executive, said in an interview," the Times reports. "The restructuring is intended to help Tribune withstand the ongoing decline in print advertising, which traditionally has been the lifeblood of the newspaper industry."

Said Liguori: “Over time, there will be some small reductions in editorial staff, but the majority of these reductions are going to come from non-reader-facing functions. It’s never easy to let go of our colleagues, especially in Tribune, where people have made real significant contributions. But it is critical that we recognize what is going on secularly and we position the business for the best future we can.”

Liguori said the newspapers are profitable, adding that the latest move is “not by any means a Hail Mary pass."

The Times adds: "In the reorganization, functions that are now managed by individual papers, such as advertising and circulation, will be consolidated into single units across the company."

A number of promotions were announced to put people in place to run the consolidated operations.

"Bill Adee will oversee the publishing division's digital operations. Bob Fleck, currently a senior vice president of advertising at the Chicago Tribune, will become executive vice president of advertising for the newspaper unit," the story reports.

The report adds: "Bill Nagel, currently executive vice president of business services at The Times, will have the new role of executive vice president of marketing for the publishing unit. He will oversee all consumer marketing and circulation operations, as well as brand marketing, market research and events management."

Even with newspaper advertising sales eroding, Tribune reported a third-quarter profit of almost $50 million, the report notes, attributing the result largely to cost cutting.

"The company aggressively cut costs, with operating expenses dropping $47 million, or 7%, to $626 million," the piece reports. "The newspaper division slashed $61 million while costs rose in other parts of the company."