Newsroom furloughs are catching on

Add the Register in Orange County to the list of local media imposing unpaid time off on their workers. Staffers were told today to take off five days between April 1 and June 30. There will also be new, unspecified layoffs.

Register Publisher Terry Horne said the layoffs would occur over the next few weeks, but he did not have an exact number. Layoffs will be across all departments of Orange County Register Communications, the umbrella organization for all Register properties. A final list of those affected has not been determined.

“Orange County Register Communications has already taken significant measures to reduce costs and generate new sources of revenue since the recession began in December of 2007,” Horne said in a letter to staff. “As we near the end of a very challenging first quarter of 2009, it’s clear we must take even more aggressive actions to balance spending with the revenues we are generating.”

The staff at La Opinión was recently ordered to take off two weeks without pay this year. That was the latest hit in a newsroom that is down substantially in numbers, including the elimination of the copy desk, according to staffers.

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