Times Begins Layoffs, Reg to Up the Ante?

Today, according to reports on LAObserved and Fishbowl LA, the Los Angeles Times got an early start to the layoffs announced last week of 150 newsroom employees. Editors have already drawn up lists of names of folks who will be handed pink slips. But with the surprise—not really—exception of publisher David Hiller, who just quit, no actual names are floating around, according to one source at the paper who has so far survived the bloodletting of Times owner Sam Zell (pictured0.*

Meanwhile, at the Orange County Register, rumor—as in totally unsubstantiated rumor being passed to us by folks at the paper—has it that the Reg is going to let another 80 employees go. There's even wild talk that Freedom Communications has a plan in the works to shutter its Irvine offices and move into the Reg building on Grand Street (seeing as how there's a lot of office space opening up there). So far, though, the Irvine building, which Freedom has owned since the 1970s, isn't on the market.

Stay tuned… and if you're a Times or Register person whose gang moniker doesn't rhyme with Quisling, please feel free to add whatever depressing details you have….

*Updated, from our source at the Times: “It appears they've gone after a lot of people in features. Richard Cromelin, one of our long-time rock critics got it.”

*In an email, Cromelin confirms he's leaving the paper.

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