Today's email from California Editor David Lauter about the preparations for layoffs at the Los Angeles Times. (The number hasn't risen above 150, he says.) It looks like next week now, and he urges calm:
I promised I would try to keep you all up to date on what's going on, so with the week drawing to a close, here's where we are: Russ, Davan, John, Leo and Susan have been talking with the various department heads all week to put together a list of the 150 job cuts we're required to make. It's painful, sad work, and we're trying to do it with as much care as we can. At this point, we're nearly finished, and I anticipate that those who are losing their jobs will be told next week. The number has not changed, despite some speculation out in the blogosphere.
I know this is a time of tremendous anxiety for people. Let's try to not make it worse for ourselves. Franklin Roosevelt's warning about the dangers of "fear itself" remain apropos. Layoffs, unfortunately, have become part of the landscape of American journalism, particularly this year. Many papers, sad to say, are going through cuts far worse than what we're dealing with. The journalism business is going through rough times; that doesn't mean that journalism is going out of business.
All this week, all of you and your colleagues elsewhere at the paper have produced terrific work. Next week, despite layoffs, we'll do the same thing. And we'll do it after the layoffs, too. Many of you have great stories in the works, both short-term and long- which will inform, delight and educate our readers. I've been privileged to read some of that work in draft form this week, and each time I do, the experience deepens my admiration for the strength, dedication and professionalism of this staff and our colleagues across the LA Times.
So, as we move into the weekend, please remember that we're going to have fewer people, but we're not going to have lowered standards or baser ambitions. Our readers demand first-rate journalism, our skill and dedication give us the tools to deliver it. And that's what we're going to do -- now and in the future.
Those names in the first graf refer to editors Russ Stanton, Davan Maharaj, John Arthur, Leo Wolinsky and Susan Denley.
Earlier today: 'Profound malaise' at the Times