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New San Diego Union-Tribune Owners Eliminate 192 Jobs

SAN DIEGO NEWS NETWORK EXCLUSIVE

The San Diego Union-Tribune on Thursday said it is eliminating 192 positions at the newspaper across all departments. The staff reduction comes after the sale of the paper to Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity Partners was finalized Monday.

Newsroom staffers let go, according to sources inside the paper, include former arts editor and current critic-at-large Lee Grant; Night & Day editor Mike Crowell;  Margaret King, who edited the Food and Quest sections of the paper; reporters Ray Huard, Greg Gross, Jennifer Vigil and Lola Sherman; North County bureau chief Janet Lavelle; and three staffers from Enlace, the U-T’s Spanish-language weekly.

Positions were eliminated across the company including advertising. Seven janitors were let go, sources said.

The moves come after employees of the paper were asked last week to sign documents from Platinum informing them that they if they continued in their roles, they might be laid off at any time.

Positions are being eliminated effective July 6. Staffers are being given 60 days notice, the minimum California requirement when a company terminates more than 50 employees at once.

The newspaper industry nationwide is under increasing financial pressure due to the current economic downturn and eroding advertising fortunes as readers increasingly turn from print to the Web.

Speculation as to the likelihood of layoffs have been rampant since La Jolla-based Copley Press announced the sale of the paper to Platinum on March 18. Terms were not disclosed.

“We will be working diligently to make the transition for those affected as easy as possible,” Drew Schlosberg, director of community and public relations, said in a statement. “We thank all of these employees for their years of service. Their dedication in making the Union-Tribune the region’s leading local media company is – and always will be – highly appreciated and regarded.”

Related stories:

Arthur Salm: Advice for the U-T’s new owners
http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-07/blog-forum/arthur-salm-advice-for-the-u-ts-new-owners

Union Tribune sale finalized
http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-04/news/local-county-news/downtown-hillcrest-mission/union-tribune-sale-finalized

U-T sale prompts questions
http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-03-20/news/u-t-sale-prompts-questions
Arthur Salm

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