US media giant Tribune Co has said it would slash 700 jobs at its newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, to cope with the industry's slump.
Most of the cuts will be aimed at consolidating advertising and circulation, but some editorial positions are likely to be eliminated as well, according to Tribune Co chief executive Peter Liguori.
"Over time, there will be some small reductions in editorial staff, but the majority of these reductions are going to come from non-reader-facing functions," Liguori told the Los Angeles daily in an interview yesterday.
"It's never easy to let go of our colleagues, especially in Tribune, where people have made real significant contributions.
"But it is critical that we recognise what is going on secularly and we position the business for the best future we can."
The company, which emerged from bankruptcy on December 31 after four years of court supervision, said the cuts will make the group more efficient and helping its transition to digital news.
The plan,. which will take effect in January, aims to offset declines in revenue of USD 75 million to USD 100 million annually, according to a memo from Liguori cited in the Chicago Tribune.
Tribune Co plans to "invest more concertedly" in digital growth, according to the memo.
In addition to the Chicago and Los Angeles dailies, the company owns The Baltimore Sun; the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; the Orlando Sentinel; the Hartford Courant in Connecticut; The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
It also owns some 40 television stations and other media assets.
The group has discussed the possibility of selling its newspaper operations in a single transaction, but few buyers appeared to be interested in more than a single newspaper.
Tribune Co also operates websites including CareerBuilder.com, Cars.com and Apartments.com, and holds a stake in the Food Network cable channel.