The San Diego Union Tribune has laid off 178 employees, the paper announced Tuesday. The layoffs follow last week's announcement that the L.A. Times' owner Tribune Publishing Co. had completed its purchase of the paper.
Most of those who were let go worked in the paper's printing, distribution and advertising departments, the Tribune said. Those operations will, for the most part, be consolidated and moved to the Times' facilities in L.A., the paper said, adding that some of the laid-off employees will be able to apply for jobs at the paper's new printing site.
According to the Union-Tribune:
In all, 100 operations employees, consisting mostly of truck drivers, machinists, electricians, packagers and pressroom workers, were among those laid off Tuesday. Other large staff reductions occurred in circulation where 29 employees were cut and in advertising sales and finance, which together saw their departments reduced by 36.
Within the newsroom, nine of the 173 staff members were let go, almost all of them working for U-T TV.
“When the two companies announced that they were coming together, we said at the time there were going to be some synergies, and unfortunately for a lot of people today we’re realizing those synergies,” said Russ Newton, president and chief operating officer of The San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’re going to move production up to (Los Angeles) because we have press time available.”
Tribune Publishing Co. said last Thursday that it had completed the purchase the San Diego paper from owner Douglas Manchester for $85 million. It then immediately changed the paper's name from U-T San Diego back to the San Diego Union-Tribune, as it had been known from 1992 until 2011.