For more than 200 staffers at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, September 30 will be their last day at the paper.
The Times-Picayune announced a couple of weeks ago that it would be cutting its print schedule to three days per week, making New Orleans the largest U.S. city to not have a daily paper. At that time, there was talk of layoffs. The cuts are deep.
The paper said yesterday that 84 of 173 people in the newsroom would be let go. Remaining newsroom staffers will be offered other positions with Nola Media Group, the new company overseeing the newspaper. That company will have a total of 275 employees with 83 new hires on the way, 40 of them in the newsroom. That Nola.com article has the names of some of the reporters that are being cut.
Advance Publications, the company that currently oversees the Times-Picayune and other publications, also announced that cuts are being made at two Alabama papers. The total number of layoffs for all publications comes to 600.
Advertisers, local leaders, readers, and even David Simon, a former reporter and creator of the show Treme, spoke out in an effort to preserve the daily newspaper schedule. The protest also turned directly to Ricky Mathews, the leader of Nola Media Group; a RickyGoHome.com site has launched.
Separately but sadly related, the Detroit Free Press is also cutting staff.