Baltimore Sun Lays Off 60 Journalists
UPDATE, 4:23 p.m. Eastern, April 29, 2009: The Associated Press is reporting this afternoon that The Baltimore Sun has laid off nearly 60 people in its newsroom, including veteran editors and managers, columnists, photographers and designers. Earlier reports had the figure as low as 15 people being let go.
A spokeswoman for the newspaper says managerial-level employees were laid off at the end of the day Tuesday, and union-represented employees were informed Wednesday afternoon.
The Sun did not disclose how many people lost their jobs, but the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild says 37 people were let go Wednesday. Staffers who were laid off Tuesday say about 21 managers were let go.
Maryland’s largest newspaper is owned by Tribune Co., which is operating under bankruptcy protection.
Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher writes was the first to report the eventual size of the layoff this morning:
The mass exodus of editors at The Baltimore Sun is expected to approach 20, according to Newspaper Guild leaders at the paper, who said the layoffs are part of a shift away from traditional newspapering and toward multi-platform content.
They also fear that more cuts, to guild members, are looming with as many as 20 rank-and-file jobs expected to go.
“They are clearly trying to move to be an information producer, not a newspaper publisher,” said Angie Kuhl, Guild unit chair at the Sun. “It is a flattening of the newsroom.”
Her comments followed Editor Monty Cook’s meeting with newsroom staffers late Tuesday, in which he announced at least 15 of the editor-level layoffs, which included both top editorial page editors.
Kuhl said the editor departures are expected to grow to 20 before the end of the day, but do not include Cook. “This is really a devastating hit,” she said. “These are experienced journalists with a wealth of knowledge.”
A source told DCRTV.com:
“Fifteen mid- and top-level editors just laid off at the Sun… The casualities include: Deputy Managing Editor Paul Moore, Editorial Page Editor Ann LoLordo, Op-Ed Editor Larry Williams, Med/Sci Editor Patricia Fanning, Sports editors Ray Frager and George VanDaniker, Copy Desk Chief John McIntyre, Systems Editor Steve Auerweck, three bureau chiefs (leaving none), Regional Editor Jay Apperson, and Photo Assigning Editor Chuck Weiss. All editors were told to leave the building immediately. A security guard was stationed on the skywalk between the building and the employee parking garage. Rumor has it the Guild employees will get layoff notices this week.”
Another source told the website:
“I just read through your brief about the 15 layoffs at the Sun and noticed you have no names for the three bureau chiefs. Their names are Joe DeCarlo, Dan Clemens, and Bill Caulfield. Also receiving a layoff was Eileen Canzian, who was one of our Metro editors and one of the brightest journalists in the room. Their experience, expertise and institutional knowledge – not to mention a genuine love for the city of Baltimore and the surrounding area – will be sorely missed.”
One editor laid off is John McIntyre, whose own blog You Don’t Say is a favorite of mine. He writes about his departure on the blog.
Yesterday, the grim economics of the newspaper business made April 28 my last day at the paper. It was, as they say in theatrical circles, a good run. I had more than two decades of the company of some of the smartest and funniest people I have ever known, working for supportive editors of the paper, and in all that time we struggled day after day to make The Sun a formidable newspaper. We succeeded more often than we failed, and no man has been more fortunate in his colleagues than I have.
But when the curtain falls, you are supposed to get off the stage, and this is my final post at baltimoresun.com. I expect to continue blogging elsewhere, but you will no longer find me at my post here. In addition to colleagues who have been great fun, I have had the good fortune to collect a remarkable corps of loyal readers, and I salute you all with gratitude and affection. You have enriched my life.