Chicago Tribune lays off 20 employees

July 22, 2011

The Chicago Tribune is cutting 20 employees from its pay roll -- and many of them are from the Tribune's newsroom staff.

The newspaper reported Thursday that the layoffs hit writers, editors and support staff. The Tribune Company declined to comment in depth on the layoffs, releasing this statement: "We constantly evaluate our resources and staffing based on our strategic goals and the business environment. We do not comment on internal personnel matters."

According to media analyst Ken Doctor, the layoffs aren't surprising.

"[The Tribune] will some day exit bankruptcy, we don't know when. But as it does, the need to make a profit means they've got to continue to reduce expenses," he said. "They're not growing their way out of this problem. That's the problem for the Chicago Tribune, the Tribune Company and US newspapers in general."

The Tribune Company has been operating under Chapter 11 Bankruptcy since December 2008. Doctor said all newspapers, even those still keeping their head above the water financially, are struggling because of declines in advertising revenue.

"When you look at it, of all the media industries that are dependent on advertising -- T.V., radio, magazines and newspapers -- newspapers are the only ones that haven't really recovered. They are still losing about 5-8 percent of their ad revenue year after year," Doctor said.

Layoffs weren't the only changes going on in the Tribune Company this week. On Tuesday, the company announced it would be printing eight Sun-Times Media group papers from its presses--including the Tribune's rival newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times. The printing agreement between the two companies will reportedly cost hundreds of Sun-Times employees their jobs.