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LA Times Laying Off 80; Both The Monday Business Section, Paper Size To Shrink As Well

The LA Times is cutting 80 jobs as it closes an Orange County printing plant as it tries to reduce costs further. The paper will rely on just one printing facility, the paper reported. Over the past year, a number of newspaper publishers have achieved a degree of profitability mainly by lowering expenses, as opposed to growing revenue. The ability to maintain profitability diminishes over time, since there are only so many printing plants to close and only so many staffers than can be laid off, while still being able to operate a newspaper.

With less and less big items to cut, the Tribune Company paper is also looking to rein in expenses by not publishing Monday business section as a stand-alone. It will also shrink the width of the newspaper to 44 inches from 48 inches. To balance things out, the paper is creating a separate section for breaking news called LATExtra, which will publish Monday through Saturday.

The year’s barely gotten started but there have already been at least 431 newspaper jobs lost, according to Paper Cuts. The site counted 14,861 layoffs for 2009, slightly less worse than the prior year’s the 15,984 newspaper jobs that were slashed.

The latest layoffs at the LA Times comes nearly a year after it cut 300 positions — 70 of which were in editorial — and folded the local news stand-alone section into the front section. As for the paper’s parent company, last month, Tribune