Yesterday the layoffs of 150 colleagues in the newsroom of the LA Times plus 100 people elsewhere at the paper began. The goodbyes start in earnest today. I've lived through layoffs at other newspapers and it's startling, shocking, really, how the energy in the building is exactly, precisely, identifiably the same. What was different here is how often this has already happened at the Times, and how recently. Just last January scores of remarkable journalists left the building for good, yet here we go again.
The egregious part is that the LA Times makes money, just not enough to satisfy the new owner and the new owner's debt. That's what this new round of blood-letting is about, paying off the $8.2 billion borrowed to buy Tribune Co. Does writing that put me in danger? Who knows, but not writing it almost certainly does.