Sun-Times Media lays off journalists at its suburban papers

Sun-Times Media has laid off several journalists, including editors, at its suburban newspapers. Joliet Herald-News associate managing editor Matt Cappellini, 58, relocated to the Sun-Times’ Chicago offices two weeks ago and then was let go on Friday.
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“It would have been nice if they just laid me off two weeks ago and I didn’t have to buy a monthly rail pass,” he tells the Chicago Tribune’s Robert Channick.

Merrillville (Ind.) Post-Tribune executive editor Paulette Haddix, 60, was pink-slipped after four decades at the paper.

“When I pull into the parking lot, I always look for a car with Illinois plates, which I would take to be a bad sign, and sure enough there was one” on Friday, she says.

Sun-Times publisher Tim Knight won’t say how many people were laid off yesterday. The downsizing comes just days after Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the Sun-Times wants to buy the Chicago Tribune. (The Sun-Times owners have yet to turn a profit, according to Crain’s. They bought the company 15 months ago.)

* Sun-Times Media makes job cuts (chicagotribune.com)
* March 11: Sun-Times eyes Chicago Tribune (chicagobusiness.com)

The publisher’s memo is after the jump.

Subject: Update from Tim Knight
To: Sun-Times Media Employees

As we proactively transform our Sun-Times Media operation to align with the current and future digital customer reality, we have been able to create an incredible amount of upside for our people. We have armed employees with technologies that help them to work smarter, faster and better and have given them career development opportunities that have not existed at this company in the past.

Among other things, we have enabled field employees (reporters, photographers and sales reps) to be more effective in their local communities through the use of mobile kits. We have constructed a shared center of excellence for editorial and advertising production, and other support functions, and streamlined team structures to foster greater communication and collaboration within, and among, Sun-Times Media groups.

As part of this transition, however, we have had to make some very difficult personnel decisions. These decisions were based on the changing needs of the business. One outcome is that some employees have not made the transition with us. Impacted employees have been notified.

I thank you for your continued hard work and dedication as we continue on our mission to position Sun-Times for a long and prosperous future.

Best,

Tim

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