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Los Angeles Times to Cut More Than 10% of Newsroom

The Los Angeles Times is cutting more than 10 percent of its newsroom jobs, its executive editor, Kevin Merida, said on Wednesday.

In an email to staff, Mr. Merida said the company was restructuring and would eliminate 74 roles as a result. A spokeswoman for the news organization, Hillary Manning, said about 500 people would remain.

“The restructuring stems from the same persistent economic headwinds facing news media across the country,” Mr. Merida said in the email, which was obtained by The New York Times. “Collectively, we have done a vast amount of work as a company to meet the budget and revenue challenges head-on. But that work will need acceleration, and we will need more radical transformation in the newsroom for us to become a self-sustaining enterprise.”

Mr. Merida also said that while “the weeks and months ahead will test us as a newsroom,” he remained “supremely confident” about the publication’s future.

“We are on the brink, I’m convinced, of doing something extraordinary,” he said, “transforming a 141-year-old newspaper into a truly next-generation digital powerhouse that serves the people of this city, and the world, in unparalleled ways.”

Mr. Merida was appointed two years ago to lead the newsroom and help it compete on a national scale. Last month, The Los Angeles Times won two Pulitzer Prizes: for breaking news reporting and for feature photography.

The Los Angeles Times is owned by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire biotech entrepreneur, and his wife, Michele B. Chan, who bought the paper and other publications in 2018 from Tribune for $500 million. Dr. Soon-Shiong invested in the newsroom, adding around 150 journalists.

Ms. Manning, the spokeswoman, said in a statement that the economics of operating a media had grown “increasingly challenging” since the pandemic started and that the company was positioning itself to navigate this year and beyond.

She declined to comment on which sections would be affected by the cuts. The people being laid off were to be informed on Wednesday.

Reed Johnson, the unit council chair for the L.A. Times Guild, said in a statement that the union was outraged by the decision, which would affect about 15 percent of unionized members of the newsroom.

“We were blindsided by this news,” he said. “Management did not consult us in advance about other options for cutting costs and saving money, short of layoffs. We have been bargaining a new contract since September, and this was never hinted at during bargaining.”

Other media organizations that have also made cuts in recent months include CNN, Gannett, The Washington Post and NPR.

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