The Los Angeles Times will close a printing plant and cut about 110 jobs, extending a retrenchment brought on by rising costs, falling readership and shrinking sales.
The newspaper will consolidate production at three sites in downtown Los Angeles, Costa Mesa and Irwindale, California, the publication said today in a statement. Chicago-based Tribune, the Los Angeles Times' parent, last month cut 85 newsroom jobs.
Tribune, the No. 2 U.S. newspaper publisher, is paring spending to improve earnings as readers and advertisers abandon newspapers for the Internet and cable television. A decline in circulation last month prompted the company to trim 100 jobs at the Chicago Tribune.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis FitzSimons may say whether there will be charges related to the cuts when he speaks Wednesday at media conferences sponsored by UBS Securities and Credit Suisse First Boston, Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman said in an interview.
The cuts represent more than 10 percent of the paper's 1,070 production jobs. The Times will try to eliminate the jobs by offering voluntary severance, spokeswoman Martha Goldstein said. The paper will close the facility in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles and keep three that are more modern, the statement said.
Shrinking readership may lead newspaper companies to cut their forecasts for advertising growth in 2006, Frederick Searby, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a report to investors. The companies should drop their growth estimates closer to 2.2 percent from about 2.7 percent, he wrote.
Shares of Tribune, which have fallen 27 percent this year, declined 53 cents today to $30.86 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
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