On Tuesday, May 26, the new ownership of the U-T is expected to announce layoff plans. The press room will certainly be wiped away, as Douglas Manchester will retain the Mission Valley building and the print edition will be printed elsewhere, probably in Los Angeles. Ad salespeople, accounting staff, and others will certainly suffer some cuts, as their duties go to Los Angeles headquarters of the L.A. Times or Chicago headquarters of Tribune Publishing, the parent company.
People on the editorial side — reporters, desk people, writers, editors, etc. — have been told that perhaps as many as 98 percent will retain their jobs now and will be fairly safe. The employees I have talked to have high praise for new publisher Austin Beutner and president Russ Newton. Employees believe the paper will improve, particularly with access to the Times's Sacramento and Washington bureaus. Overseas coverage should improve.
It will possibly be almost a year before the employees move out of the Mission Valley building, which was first occupied by the staff in 1973. It's doubtful the move will come before February of 2016. Already, there are other tenants in the building because of the previous sharp staff cutbacks.
Employees are glad to be out from the Manchester ownership. Among many things, he took away their 3 percent match in the 401(k) savings plan. The new owners, after a waiting period, will provide a 4 percent match for every 6 percent employee contribution, the staff has been told.