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Tribune Lays Off Pulitzer Winners and Others

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The Chicago Tribune laid off about a dozen staffers in its newsroom Thursday, including aa couple of Pulitzer Prize winners.

The layoffs come a week after the paper’s publisher, Tony Hunter, warned of “rightsizing activities” at Chicago Tribune Media Group, which includes the paper and its RedEye edition, plus Chicago magazine.

Among those laid off was feature writer Don Terry, who shared in a Pulitzer Prize at the New York Times in 2001, and senior writer Charles Leroux. Sources said another victim was Tribune Magazine staffer Jeff Lyon, also a Pulitzer winner.

Others terminated include business reporter Susan Chandler, foreign correspondents Christine Spolar in Rome and Joel Greenberg in Jerusalem, features writer Emily Nunn and assistant travel editor Terri Colby, the sources said.

Some insiders said the final number could be 20 people.

Janet Dobbs, a spokeswoman for the paper, declined to comment.

The parent Tribune Co. is operating under bankruptcy protection as owner Sam Zell tries to renegotiate about $13 billion in debt. Those just axed will be subject to a stingier severance policy approved in bankruptcy court -- one week’s pay per year plus two weeks for the first year.

Since early 2008, the paper has reduced its newsroom head count by about 150 jobs -- using a combination of buyouts and layoffs -- to get to about 460.
 

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