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Los Angeles Times Cuts About 160 Jobs

The move, which affects both business and editorial operations, follows lower than expected ad revenue.

June 22, 2004|By a Times Staff Writer

Faced with lower than expected advertising revenue, the Los Angeles Times said Monday that it had cut about 160 jobs at the newspaper.

About 60 of those positions were held by reporters and others in the editorial operations of the Tribune Co.-owned paper -- two-thirds of whom took a voluntary buyout. The business operations at The Times, meanwhile, lost about 100 positions.

In addition, about 30 jobs were cut at various business affiliates of The Times, including the Recycler, Times Community News and California Community News.

At the end of 2003, The Times had 3,420 employees, including 1,110 editorial personnel.

"All of the people who are leaving have made meaningful contributions to the paper and to life in the newsroom," Times Editor John S. Carroll said. "We are sorry to be losing them."

The cutbacks at The Times are part of a broader cost-saving initiative across Tribune's publishing operations. In all, the roughly 20,000-employee unit is expected to reduce its ranks by slightly more than 1%.

Separately, Tribune said Monday that it was conducting a review of circulation practices at all of its newspapers, including The Times, after finding inflated sales figures at two of its publications: Newsday, based in Melville, N.Y., on Long Island and the Spanish-language daily Hoy.

The probe involves 14 newspapers in all.

"We're in the process of reviewing our circulation procedures ... to make sure that they are the best they can be," a Tribune spokesman said.

Tribune last week cut the reported circulation at Newsday and Hoy and placed a Newsday vice president on administrative leave after saying the publications overstated their numbers during 2002 and 2003. The company said it didn't believe there were improper circulation accounting practices at the other papers it owns.

Newsday will cut its reported circulation for September 2003 by about 40,000 copies daily, or 6.7%, and by about 60,000 on Sunday, or 8.9%, the company said. Hoy will reduce its figures by 15,000 copies daily, or 16%, and 4,000 on Sunday.

Newspapers report their sales figures to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which conducts its own review and tracks newspaper circulation.

Shares of Chicago-based Tribune fell 41 cents to $46.40 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Bloomberg News was used in compiling this report.

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