Chicago Tribune lays off two dozen, more to come
To satisfy shareholders, The Chicago Tribune has announced another large series of layoffs, about two dozen.
Tribune spokesman, Matt Hutchinson said, “The newsroom continues to evolve to support our expanding content portfolio and digital efforts. We continue to add and invest in staff in key areas such as investigative reporting, digital programming, local news, opinion leadership and commentary.”
Notice how he did not address the layoffs directly. These two dozen layoffs follow another large job cut last month made by Tribune Publishing. It was then that the company cut a third of its employees, around 178 employees, many of which dealt with printing and delivery.
The layoffs have nothing to do with the prosperity of the company. In fact, Tribune Publishing bought 38 Chicago newspapers from Sun-Times Media in October. The company also owns the Los Angeles Times, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sun Sentinel (Fla.), the San Diego Union Tribune and the Baltimore Sun . The layoffs relate more to the rapidly shifting world of newswriting. Less and less people read print articles now that news is readily available for free online.
Hutchinson continued, “At the same time, we have become more efficient across the entire newsroom: In fact, we are now publishing more stories across more screens than ever before in the organization’s history and we are publishing more news pages in the printed edition than before the Greater Recession.”
Wait. The print section isn’t doing badly? Then why the massive layoffs in the last two months? Was it just to buy the 38 new companies?
“The acquisition of suburban news and information brands last fall further enhances and deepens our coverage of the region. And we continue to invest in highly attractive digital verticals, including Blue Sky, Theater Loops, Printers Row and Dining,” Hutchinson concluded.
The layoffs were due to the company valuing their expansion more than their workers, especially the workers that did not fit into their image of the company anymore. The cuts went farther than the printing and delivery rooms. They sliced into the newsroom too, snipping video reporter and columnist Jen Weigel; metro planning editor Chris Rickett; photo editor Chuck Berman; sports copy editor Robert Foltman; sports digital editor Stu Courtney; sports copy editor Mike Pankow, and associate sports editor Lee Gordon.
Tribune Publishing also announced that more cuts are to come to satisfy their shareholders.
Cover Photo sourced from: whyccikent.wordpress.com