Jul 30, 2014

Press-Telegram Bracing For Layoffs

A letter from staff to subscribers beseeches them to contact those who can help spare the 100-year-old newspaper's sports, photo, arts and entertainment departments from elimination.

Press-Telegram Bracing For Layoffs

The Long Beach  Press-Telegram newspaper, which also covers Seal Beach, Artesia and, Cerritos, circulated a letter Sunday to its subscribers asking that they fight to stop the closing of the photo, arts and entertainment and sports departments.

"Al Rudis, our sole remaining features writer to cover all the region’s arts and entertainment issues, has been told his position has been eliminated and that the Breeze’s features staff, a department of two people, will now cover the South Bay and Long Beach and its surrounding communities," reads the email, sent by the Southern California Media Guild

"At least one photographer and one sports writer will be laid off as well," reads the email.

The organization asks the public to go to the advocacy group's, Save The Press-Telegram Facebook page and press the "Like" button.

The group will also be at the Long Beach City Council meeting Tuesday.

To varying degrees, Seal Beach has been a part of The Press-Telegram’s coverage area for decades. The paper’s Seal Beach reporter Joe Segura has been with the paper for decades and is well known in the community.

The Press-Telegram is just the latest of the local papers to announce cutbacks. For years, The Press-Telegram, The Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times have had several rounds of layoffs. In 2009, The Orange County Register’s parent company emerged from bankruptcy, and for months, the parent companies of The Press-Telegram and the Los Angeles Times have been rumored to be the two likely winners in a bid to buy the Register. Last year, the Los Angeles Times’ parent company, The Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy. Even the Leisure World News has struggled of late, having announced a reduction in pages several months ago.

The media guild’s complete letter is reprinted below:

Dear reader, 

Your local newspaper is under attack again.
The Press-Telegram, which has served the Greater Long Beach area for more than 100 years, is going to lose its entire Photo, Sports and Arts & Entertainment departments at the end of this month.

As of June 30, all of the newspaper’s photographers and sports writers will be moved to the Daily Breeze in Torrance. 

At least one photographer and one sports writer will be laid off as well. No local photographers, sports writers and arts and entertainment writers means far less coverage of issues important to our readers and crucial for our community.

This move will not only drastically affect our ability to respond to breaking news it will also cut into the number of scheduled events -- from high school sports to the symphony -- that can be covered given the logistics.

That also means less time for good news stories and features about the latest community offerings for youth, seniors, singles and families. If you care about your local paper and your community please take the time to let those in charge know the city of Long Beach and its surrounding communities of Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Norwalk, Paramount and Seal Beach deserve a real newspaper with its own staff, a staff that has served this area for generations and knows its history.

\You can help by liking our Facebook page, Save the Press-Telegram, and sharing it with those you know.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Press-Telegram/175974809127370 You can also write or call our editors and ask them to keep our staff here. Reach Publisher Linda Lindus at linda.lindus@dailybreeze.com or (562) 499-1422 and Executive Editor Sue Schmitt at sue.schmitt@presstelegram.com or (562) 499-1242   Join us at Long Beach City Council on Tuesday evening.

Patch reporter Paige Austin contributed to this report.

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