San Diego newspaper lays off 1/3rd of workforce after sale

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego’s dominant newspaper on Tuesday announced the layoffs of nearly a third of its 600 employees after it was acquired last week for $85 million by Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Publishing.

The San Diego Union-Tribune said 178 employees — most in its printing and delivery divisions — would be laid off and their jobs done in Los Angeles.

“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 Union-Tribune president and CEO Russ Newton.

A total of 100 people were laid off from operations, including truck drivers, machinists, electricians and pressroom workers. Twenty-nine were cut from circulation and 36 from advertising sales and finance. Only nine of the 173 newsroom staffers were laid off, nearly all from the paper’s video department.

“For readers of the newspaper, they will notice zero impact from today’s layoffs,” Newton said.

The workers were given two months’ notice, and their severance will vary according to their union status.

The newspaper’s sale for $85 million to the Tribune Co. by real estate developer Douglas Manchester was finalized on Thursday, and its name was changed back to its former name, the Union-Tribune, after going by U-T San Diego since 2011.

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