On Jan. 16, Southern California News Group employees were told that newspapers in the group would face significant layoffs in coming months due to declining revenue.
The 11 SCNG papers, owned by parent company Digital First Media, include the Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, the Daily Breeze in Torrance, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune in Monrovia and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, among others.
Less than two weeks from the newsroom meetings informing newsroom employees of pending “involuntary terminations,” cuts have begun. An SCNG spokesman confirmed Tuesday that staff in sports and photography departments at some papers had been notified of layoffs.
“It is the first phase in the previously announced newsroom restructuring that will take place during the next several weeks,” the spokesman said in an e-mail, adding that the SCNG would have no further comment on future plans. The company declined to provide numbers of those who have or will lose their jobs.
The website L.A. Observed quoted Tweets from newspaper staffers confirming layoffs. Among them was Daily News sports columnist Tom Hoffarth, who wrote that he is among those laid off.
“If a hedge fund owns a paper that it is trying to sell off to a prospective buyer, employees are collateral damage. there is no logical plan for survival. sadly folks like me are cast aside in this process. common sense disappears.” Hoffarth tweeted.
Media and entertainment reporter Diane Haithman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @dhaithman.