Among the well-known bylines facing the top editor today are Rex Bowman, Bill Geroux and Carlos Santos, all of whom are longtime state desk reporters. Veteran reporter Robin Farmer, whose husband is columnist Michael Paul Williams, packed the contents of her desk last night, according to sources. Longtime movie reviewer Daniel Neman, who was also covering Richmond's arts and culture scene, confirmed to friends that he was laid off at 9 a.m. Gary Brookins, the paper’s award-winning editorial cartoonist whose comic strip Pluggers is syndicated nationally, also received notice, according to sources.Richmond BizSense's story says the total number of those laid off today may be over 50 people.
The Times-Dispatch is laying off between 20 and 25 editorial staffers and 30 non-newsroom employees, according to a handful of sources close to the matter. Around a dozen of the laid off reporters each had decades of experience. It’s also possible that the paper will cut the food section, according to one source.Update: The newspaper itself has a story on the layoffs -- "Richmond Times-Dispatch eliminates 31 open positions and lays off 59 employees."
Update II: A blogger connected to the news about the news reacts -- click here.
With advertising revenues a paltry fraction of what they were just a year ago the newspaper's owner, Media General, finds itself in the same boat with newspaper publishers coast-to-coast. While it figures out what the hell to do in the long run, it must cut costs.
At least management waited until after April Fools' Day. Times are tough all over. Some of us writers wish we had a job to worry about losing.