The San Diego Union Tribune told employees Thursday the company is cutting close to 40 newsroom positions, according to sources.
According to one current UT employee, the cuts that were expected before the end of the week began Thursday morning.
Reports of the number of layoffs varied from 34 to 40. They range from news reporters to web editors to features writers, sources said.
Our media partner voiceofsandiego.org reported some of those cut included a few familiar bylines such as Anne Krueger, Jeff Ristine, Leslie Berestein, Michael Burge and John Marelius.
Half of the paper’s copy editors will be let go, according to several former staffers.
The paper’s management has created new positions of junior staff writers that pay between $30-35,000 a year. Those positions were posted Monday, according to a former staffer.
Thursday afternoon, Union-Tribune spokesperson Drew Schlosberg issued the following statement:
"Like many companies, the Union-Tribune does not comment on specific personnel matters. What I can tell you is that the restructuring of the newsroom operations follows lengthy stakeholder feedback from readers, community and business leaders, and advertisers about understanding their wants, needs and media habits. This feedback is guiding us in how we redesign the ways we gather, edit and present the news."
Inside Friday's paper, Union-Tribune editor Jeff Light addressed the paper's reorganization saying there will be new people arriving and others departing in order to put the company in the position to respond to how San Diegans consume news and information.
"These changes also will allow us to respond to what the market is demanding from companies like ours," Light wrote. "We will have the ability to work effectively across many media platforms, to build stronger newspapers and better news sites for the Web, mobile and tablets. "
Among the points of the restructure, according to Light, that the reporters will "learn to publish first to the Web, and to engage you, their audiences, in real time." The paper will also be adding more video photographers and graphic artists to the staff to help animate content for online, mobile and tablets.
Light forecasted that readers and users would see a new product by summer's end.