This morning's missive to the Times staff from Jeffrey M. Johnson says: "Beginning this week and over the next three weeks, departments will be communicating specific initiatives including job reductions to their employees. These are not easy decisions and we are not taking them lightly. However, given the current business climate, we feel these reductions are absolutely essential to succeed in 2006 and beyond." He emphasizes a new investment in the paper's online product, "stepping up coverage on local and regional news [and] a relentless drive on building home delivery and single copy sales." Full text:
November 16, 2005
From: Jeff Johnson
As an organization, we have seen much change in the past 10 months, including many new people joining the organization as well as veterans of The Times taking on new responsibilities. We have also accomplished much this past year in a media environment that continues to change at a fast pace creating both new opportunities and challenges.
One of our biggest challenges is to make meaningful investments in our future while making very difficult decisions about the size and shape of our organization. It is more critical than ever that we take decisive action to reflect changes in our business and make tough calls about staffing levels and other critical parts of the newspaper.
Beginning this week and over the next three weeks, departments will be communicating specific initiatives including job reductions to their employees. These are not easy decisions and we are not taking them lightly. However, given the current business climate, we feel these reductions are absolutely essential to succeed in 2006 and beyond.
Now more than ever, we continue to be committed to The Times' mission of being the definitive voice in Southern California. Our readers and advertisers expect that we cover their world in a way no other media company can both in print and online. Important strategies next year include:
* A renewed focus on deepening the paper's connection with readers and advertisers in Southern California.
* Investing heavily in our online business to become an indispensable destination in the lives of Southern Californians.
* Growing our developing businesses to reach new audiences and provide new solutions for advertisers.
Specific initiatives underway include stepping up coverage on local and regional news, a relentless drive on building home delivery and single copy sales, as well as continued investment in latimes.com. The recent series by Steve Lopez on the homeless situation along with key coverage by the metro investigative staff demonstrate so well the great work done by The Times in serving Southern California.
Next year will include a series of initiatives including a remake of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, new design features to make the paper more inviting and an aggressive set of changes on the web led by the recent introduction of "The Envelope." Importantly, the advertising team is focused on several ambitious programs to grow local retail, preprint and classified advertising where we are planning major investments.
As we move forward we will work hard to keep you engaged and informed about important initiatives here at The Times. With your talent and passion for The Times, I am confident that we will be stronger and more valuable to our readers and advertisers than ever before. I deeply appreciate your contributions and continued support.