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Union-Tribune lays off journalists

Seven on editorial staff lose jobs; hinted that more face same fate

Jeff Light, vice president and editor of the Union-Tribune, today (February 14) revealed that there will be seven layoffs on the editorial staff of the newspaper.

Jeff Light

His message reads, "All--Today, we're reducing our newsroom by seven positions. I feel badly [sic] about these difficult decisions. Everyone we are saying goodbye to is a dedicated journalist and valued colleague. Some have spent decades at the U-T. In an organization of our size, it is a small number, but that does not lessen the sense of loss everyone in our newsroom will feel today. Each person who is directly affected already has been notified this morning. I'd like to thank each of them for their commitment to our mission as journalists, for the sacrifices they have made for their careers and for their significant contribution to this company."

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The memo does not name the people who lost their jobs. According to staff members, who are relying on the rumor mill, those laid off may include Christine Huard, who covered schools in South County, and Michael Gehlken, a sportswriter who penned a number of stories about the Chargers’ departure.

One staff member said there will probably be more layoffs related to the Chargers' planned bolt to Los Angeles. The sports section is large and vulnerable. Another staff member explains the rationale for the layoffs as follows: "It's a bad newspaper. There is no edge to it at all."

UPDATE 2/14, 2 p.m.

From a certain source: Photojournalist Peggy Peattie and news photo editor David Poller have also been laid off. Peattie was there for 20 or 30 years; Poller began as U-T metro photo editor in 1999.

UPDATE 2/14, 2:35 p.m.

Also dismissed: Maureen Magee, education writer; Aaron Atencio, information graphics reporter; Kassi Lugo, designer.

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Jeff Light, vice president and editor of the Union-Tribune, today (February 14) revealed that there will be seven layoffs on the editorial staff of the newspaper.

Jeff Light

His message reads, "All--Today, we're reducing our newsroom by seven positions. I feel badly [sic] about these difficult decisions. Everyone we are saying goodbye to is a dedicated journalist and valued colleague. Some have spent decades at the U-T. In an organization of our size, it is a small number, but that does not lessen the sense of loss everyone in our newsroom will feel today. Each person who is directly affected already has been notified this morning. I'd like to thank each of them for their commitment to our mission as journalists, for the sacrifices they have made for their careers and for their significant contribution to this company."

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The memo does not name the people who lost their jobs. According to staff members, who are relying on the rumor mill, those laid off may include Christine Huard, who covered schools in South County, and Michael Gehlken, a sportswriter who penned a number of stories about the Chargers’ departure.

One staff member said there will probably be more layoffs related to the Chargers' planned bolt to Los Angeles. The sports section is large and vulnerable. Another staff member explains the rationale for the layoffs as follows: "It's a bad newspaper. There is no edge to it at all."

UPDATE 2/14, 2 p.m.

From a certain source: Photojournalist Peggy Peattie and news photo editor David Poller have also been laid off. Peattie was there for 20 or 30 years; Poller began as U-T metro photo editor in 1999.

UPDATE 2/14, 2:35 p.m.

Also dismissed: Maureen Magee, education writer; Aaron Atencio, information graphics reporter; Kassi Lugo, designer.

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