POSTED: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 2:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 3:22pm
NEW ORLEANS, LA (NBC33) — Nearly a third of the staff at The Times-Picayune will be cut by the end of today, Tuesday, June 12. The decision is part of a restructuring plan to shift focus to an online effort. Ironically, the news is being followed online with an intense focus, but perhaps not the way for which the company hopes.
A fan comment on the Times-Picayune Facebook page says, “What, no story on the layoffs at the T/P? It’s the top story on WWLtv.com, which is where I’ll be going for my online news from now on.”
On May 24, 2012, Advance Publications announced that The Times-Picayune would reduce its print operation to only three-days a week.
In a videotaped statement published on NOLA.com, Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss confirmed that a staff reduction was taking place.
"This is a difficult week at our paper. We have had to let go of some wonderful employees," he said. "It is a painful transition."
A meeting began at 7:30 a.m. at the Times-Picayune offices located on Howard Ave. in New Orleans. Each employee was called into a closed-door meeting and learned whether or not they would be offered a position to stay-on or let-go.
“The first to go early this morning was a longtime copy editor who, ironically, has been overseeing online content for the past decade,” Renee Peck, Editor for NolaVie.com, wrote in an online editorial. “When she burst into tears at the news, the supervisor in charge seemed unprepared, and had to duck into the ladies’ bathroom for paper towels.”
Although the Times-Picayune has not released a complete list of those who will be let go, the names are being leaked to media outlets via those still working for the publication. The Gambit, an alternative print media publication based out of New Orleans, has turned to social media today with real time updates regarding those names.
“…I can't believe that you fired Brett Anderson today,” a fan posted to the Times-Picayune Facebook page shortly after it was announced via Twitter. “not to mention top education and crime reporters. Ridiculous. I have no words.”
A total of 84 out of 235 people on staff will be let go. However, Amoss has also said that new hiring will take place this summer as the publication transitions over to its digital focus.
A similar change in operations is being made with other Advance Publications located in Michigan and Alabama.
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