Southern California Public Radio announced the layoffs of 21 people on Tuesday due to revenue shortfall and plans to strengthen its online news reporting.
By Reina Esparza
Advertising made up 20 to 25% of their revenue. But this year, advertising has fallen by a couple of million dollars.
The layoffs consisted mostly of positions of administrative staff, technicians, and producers. While popular shows will remain, some short-run series will be canceled. In place of these positions, Southern California Public Radio CEO Herb Scanell plans to create seven new positions involving reporting and internal data analysis.
Despite these figures and plans, lack of communication has caused confusion and concern amongst the staff and union representatives.
The layoffs come after a ratified contract had been finalized by the union early last month. Throughout negotiations, layoffs were never brought up, according to LAist Senior Reporter Jill Replogle.
The union stated on Twitter that LAist management could have done more to “offer buyouts before eliminating journalists’ jobs” and that the union “was not notified at all in advance.”
These layoffs come with a growing frequency of news and media publications reducing their staffs or shutting down branches altogether. This includes the Los Angeles Times, which recently announced the layoffs of 74 positions and the total shutdown of Buzzfeed News.
The union plans to work with affected LAist members to help them negotiate their layoff terms.
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