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Mass layoffs at the Union-Tribune

May 7, 2009 - 11:47 am

Layoffs are happening at the San Diego Union-Tribune. Sources inside and outside the paper tell CityBeat that there will be 100 layoffs company-wide, and 40-50 inside the newsroom. One of the sources says the layoffs will hit parts of the Union-Tribune that have been struggling lately, or which have high expenses, including the weekly Night & Day section (whose editor has already gotten the bad news), Our San Diego, and the business and sports sections. The sources also said there will be consolidation of reporters who work in outlying bureaus.

The layoffs are considered “mass layoffs” and as such fall under California’s WARN law. The law requires that employees receive 60 days’ notice before termination. No news yet about whether there will be severance packages.

A call to the Union-Tribune‘s spokesperson was not immediately returned.

On Monday, the Union-Tribune was officially purchased by Platinum Equity Group, a Beverly Hills-based equity firm that specializes in rehabilitating struggling businesses.

One source told CityBeat that this will probably be the first round of layoffs Union-Tribune staff can expect to have to weather. The source said that despite recent published comments by Platinum principal Louis Samson, editor Karin Winner’s term at the paper will draw to a close in coming months or even weeks as she makes way for a transition team.

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