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The Los Angeles Times is set to lay off a substantial number of journalists, as revealed by the newspaper’s union, marking another significant reduction in media personnel in a period marked by dwindling advertising revenue.

In response to this decision, the LA Times Guild has planned a one-day walkout on Friday to protest the impending job cuts. The guild, in a statement, said, “The management of the Los Angeles Times has announced that it intends to imminently lay off a significant number of journalists, and is asking the Guild to gut seniority protections in our union contract so they have vastly more freedom to pick whom to lay off.” They added that such reductions would severely impact the newspaper’s capacity to deliver “crucial accountability journalism” for Southern California.

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Although the newspaper’s management has not disclosed the exact number of layoffs, sources suggest that the cutbacks will impact at least 100 journalists, constituting around 20% of the newsroom staff. This follows a previous reduction of 74 newsroom positions in June.

This trend of layoffs is not isolated to the Los Angeles Times but is reflective of a broader change within the media industry, which is struggling to adapt to the digital era. Last October, the Washington Post announced voluntary buyouts to reduce its workforce by 240 employees due to falling subscription and advertising revenue.

According to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the US media industry recorded 17,436 job cuts in the year leading up to June 1, 2023 – the highest on record. Furthermore, Pew Research Center data shows a decline in newsroom employment in the US, dropping from 114,000 in 2008 to 85,000 in 2020.


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