More names of L.A. Times departures

Confirmations are coming in on Los Angeles Times newsroom staffers who were laid off in yesterday's new wave of staff cuts, or who are taking buyouts to get the heck out while the getting is good enough. Among those leaving is science desk writer John Johnson, a veteran who has covered a number of beats. He sent the newsroom a note this afternoon:

I had always planned that when it came my time to be remaindered that I would simply slip away like the proverbial housebreaker. Now that it's happened, it feels rude not to say thanks to the many, and I do mean many, people who befriended and helped me over the past two decades.

So thanks and, as that great Glam band of yesteryear, Slade, said, Gudbuy t' Jane.

Pete Thomas covered outdoors recreation — fishing, surfing, adventure and stuff like that — for a good chunk of his 30 years at the Los Angeles Times. He posted yesterday at Facebook that he's among the layoffs. Sports staffer Mark Medina sent the newsroom a note saying he was leaving. Three photographers and a photo editor got tapped, and at least one books staffer is leaving. I posted yesterday about Elina Shatkin, and earlier about the departures of arts writer Suzanne Muchnic and Jerusalem bureau correspondent Richard Boudreaux. I'm told that, in Orange County, columnist-turned-staff writer Dana Parsons has decided to leave at the end of the year.

The Pfaffinger Foundation reminds that it is available to help current and former Times employees in need. Note from the chairman after the jump.

And at the New York Times: Names are leaking out of newsroom staffers laid off this week, including culture writer Eric Konigsberg, national writer Sara Rimer and real estate writer Josh Barbanel.

The Pfaffinger Foundation was established in part to help Times employees, former employees, and their families. While we were once well known by just about everyone at The Times, we are concerned that many former Times employees no longer think of Pfaffinger when they experience financial difficulties. In 2008, we assisted 236 Los Angeles Times employees, former employees and retirees. Our numbers are down in 2009, which seems counterintuitive to us.

Among the ways Pfaffinger is assisting employees and former employees:
1. Paying some or all of COBRA payments if the individual is unable to do so.
2. Making a limited number of rent or mortgage payments while the family restructures its finances.
3. Arranging for financial counseling at no cost.
4. Assisting with medical bills not covered by insurance (and sometimes we are able to negotiate a reduction with the provider as well). We can also assist with a variety of other bills (e.g. utilities).

The way to access Pfaffinger services is to call us at (213) 680-7460. We do not have a website because our first step with an inquiry is to determine eligibility, and we do this on a case-by-case basis in conversation with the applicant. We are also happy to mail out a brochure.

Every applicant works with a professional case manager and is guided through the application process. Client information is totally confidential. Of course, approval is not automatic and we are not a "benefit." In fact, we are totally independent of The Times and Tribune.

I hope this information is of interest to you and I would like to discuss with you how it might be shared with your members.

Please feel free to e-mail me or call at (213) 680-7467.


Steve Meier
Stephen C. Meier
Chairman and CEO
Pfaffinger Foundation
316 W. 2nd St., Suite PH-C
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (213) 680-7467

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