Creative Loafing lays off three editorial employees in Tampa, seven overall
Creative Loafing Tampa editor David Warner on Dec. 19 announced seven layoffs at the alternative newsweekly's Tampa operation, including reporter Alex Pickett, music critic Wade Tatangelo and copy editor Anthony Salveggi, effective at the end of December.
It's a tough move for the newspaper, which laid off longtime move reviewer Lance Goldenberg in August. In-depth film, music and local news coverage is often the staple of alternative newspapers; losing staff attuned to covering those areas is likely going to be difficult.
It's also a tough move coming amid the holidays.
Here's part of what Warner said on the newspaper's blog:
"Creative Loafing Tampa has in recent months seen a steady decline in print advertising revenues — a trend that has affected media organizations across the country. Accordingly, we have been looking at ways to adjust: finding ways to lower print publishing costs while planning for a future that acknowledges the primacy of the Web. Our parent company, as has widely been reported, is also in the throes of restructuring its debt under Chapter 11 — debt that has mounted as a result both of the current financial climate and the company’s purchase last year of Washington City Paper and Chicago Reader."
Already, Creative Loafing faces controversy over the firing of the editor of its Atlanta paper -- at least one publication speculated, because he resisted editorial cutbacks. Media blogs and industry publications have been filled with stories on the struggle between Creative Loafing CEO Ben Eason and his creditors for control of the alternative newspaper chain following its move to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year.
The papers have also had to cope with worsening economic conditions while scrambling to figure a new plan for paying off $30-million in debt, used in part to finance purchase of the Chicago Reader and the City Paper in Washington D.C.
So this seems like another sad chapter in some ongoing tough times for the newspaper chain. *