Half of the news department at the Times-Picayune is being cut. Some employees are being offered a spot in the digital Nola.com operation.
One longtime editorial employee is calling it a “bloodletting.” More than 200 employees are being given severance packages. Hardest hit is the news department, where nearly 50 percent of the staff is being let go. That amounts to 84 of the 173 people in the newsroom.
One employee says newsroom workers have been huddling together, many shedding tears at the cutbacks. For those not being laid off, benefits are being cut and salaries are varied. Some positions are being left open but have new job descriptions to fit the new digital format.
Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss announced the changes in a video posted online. He says the cuts are painful but necessary as news operations focus on their online audience. The company plans to cut print editions to only three times a week, starting this fall.