Press-Telegram essentially merged **

I'm told by a staffer that the positions of publisher and managing editor were eliminated today at the Long Beach Press-Telegram, along with the copy desk and most of the production jobs. Those functions will now be handled at the Daily Breeze, located in Torrance. Laid-off P-T production staffers were told they could apply for a fewer number jobs at the Breeze. Two reporters and a photographer had already resigned this week. Online reports in the District Weekly and LB Report, which together pretty much make a skeletal Singleton newspaper in Long Beach unnecessary.

* Noted: Email from Singleton's outposts in the San Gabriel Valley: "No layoffs here at San Gabe, but nobody's getting any work done because we're all just heartbroken over what's happening to our colleagues."

* In sum: Long Beach publisher Dave Kuta and managing editor John Futch out. Long Beach and the Breeze will share news and sports desks, which I thought was tried and abandoned at the other Singleton papers in the L.A. area. They're keeping count of the day's LANG toll at SportsJournalists.com:

22 out at the L.A. Daily News (buyouts and layoffs)
Nine at the Daily Breeze (layoffs)
8-9 at Long Beach (layoffs/attrition/consolidation/bullshit) [Net after re-hiring]

** SoCal Media Guild recap: "The company will eliminate the design department and all copy desk positions, moving the work to the non-union Torrance Daily Breeze, effective next week. Twenty-one designers and copy editors were 'invited' to apply today for twelve available positions at The Breeze. Interviews will be conducted over the weekend," says Vicki Di Paolo at the Stress-Telegram blog.

But when the ax stops swinging, those of us still here are committed to moving forward and doing what we do best — good journalism. We hope to work with — not just for — our employer, to preserve the Press-Telegram as a valued source of information for our city and the surrounding communities.

But tonight, we mourn for ourselves and our colleagues here and at the Daily News. This is a sad time for all of us.




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