Bad Week for Chicago Journalists

Tribune cuts another 53 jobs

Just days after the Chicago Sun-Times lost 140 workers in its latest round of layoffs, the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday added to the carnage.

Tribune's Editor, Gerould Kern, annouced Wednesday in a note to employees that the newspaper will cut 53 jobs as part of a newspaper reorganization. 

That leaves the newspaper with a staff of about 430.  About a dozen jobs were lost at the Trib in December, and another 20 were eliminated in February.

The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal noted in a column last August that cuts made that month were the paper's fourth since 2005.

Like other newspapers, the Tribune is suffering through a downturn in advertising revenue due to both a sour economy and a movement toward the Internet.   

As it tries to remake itself, the newspaper said it planned to focus its coverage more narrowly on the Chicago area and would expand its local news operation.
Kern's memo indicates the newspaper's digital staff also will grow and a new watchdog unit will increase its consumer and investigative coverage. A new production department will combine copy editing, page design and photo editing.

According to Crain's Chicago Business, among those who lost their jobs Wednesday: business reporters Joshua Boak, Eric Benderoff and Susan Diesenhouse; breaking news reporter James P. Miller; photographers Candice C. Cusic, and David Trotman-Wilkins; assistant features editor and writer of the Tribune's “Recession Diaries” blog Lou Carlozo and reporter Robert K. Elder; Schaumburg deputy bureau chief William Grady; house and homes editor Elaine Matsushita; assistant editor Suzanne Cosgrove; writer Elizabeth Botts, and sports reporter John Mullin.

Both of Chicago's largest newspapers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  The Chicago Tribune did so last December, with the Chicago Sun-Times following nearly four months later.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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