LA Times Cuts 74 Newsroom Positions Including ‘Several’ Photographers

LA Times sign

The Los Angeles Times has announced severe job cuts eliminating 74 newsroom positions including “several” photographer positions, representing 13% of the newsroom.

LA Times photographer Kent Nishimura took to Twitter to vent his frustration at finding out about his redundancy from a news article.

“Found this out via this article, before getting notice from HR while I’m on my honeymoon,” he writes. “Of the photo dept members who received notice today, all are people of color, and if cut, the photo dept won’t have Spanish speakers.”

Crestfallen staff photographer Dania Maxwell also took to Twitter to say she had given her “heart and soul” to the company.

“I’ve given nights and weekends away from home for the work. I’ve given a lot more than any ‘job’ so it feels pretty dark,” she writes.

“The photo department was hit hard. It lost several photographers and editors. I’m one of two Spanish speakers that are being laid off. In a city where the most common language spoken other than English is Spanish, it speaks volumes about how the company will cover its own city.”

Award-Winning Photo Team

The LA Times recently won two Pulitzer prizes, one of them for photography. Christina House won the feature photography award for her project looking at the life of a 22-year-old woman living on the street in Los Angeles. A powerful photo series that featured on PetaPixel.

The newspaper’s executive editor Kevin Merida announced the layoffs on Wednesday, saying the decision was “made more urgent by the economic climate and the unique challenges of our industry.”

“Decisions that result in talented staffers losing their jobs are agonizing,” Merida writes. “We will be saying goodbye to some tremendous colleagues.”

Who Owns the LA Times?

The LA Times was purchased by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife Michele in February 2018. According to Bloomberg, Soon-Shiong became a billionaire after selling two drug companies and has an estimated wealth of $9 billion.

The paper itself reports that the outlet was performing strongly until Covid-19 when pandemic-related closures obliterated the advertising money the paper was receiving.

Since then, it has struggled to recover financially amid an industrywide slowdown that has also seen a major crisis for media like Vice and Buzzfeed News

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.