Talking turkey: LA Times plans layoffs

Though Los Angeles may not always stick to conventions, the city’s paper takes the Thanksgiving cake with this Scroogelike announcement: according to Nikki Finke of the insider-LA-entertainment blog Deadline Hollywood, sources within the Los Angeles Times said on Tuesday the paper is cutting 40 staff positions, including two well-known film critics.

But, as is Finke’s custom, she backtracked on Wednesday, writing that members of the LA Times management asserted “the 40 number is too high,” though, according to Finke’s post, management did not deny there are layoffs in store. In her updated post, Finke also added she was “told there will be a big push LA Times-wide in coming months to turn staff writers into freelance writers.”

This isn’t the first time the Times has made a sweeping layoff announcement in the past year. Last January, the paper announced plans to eliminate 300 staff positions — including 70 in the newsroom — as part of a cost-cutting measure that also included the elimination of one of the paper’s daily sections.

The Times’ decidedly anti-holiday-spirit announcement adds to the recent Los Angeles news woes. Earlier this week, the Washington Post decided to close its U.S. bureaus, including its Los Angeles bureau.

Is anyone planning to cover news in the city of angels? If it weren’t for other papers like the New York Times, Los Angeles news could be as opaque as the city during rolling power blackouts.

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