Several local newspapers lose newsrooms in Tribune Publishing cuts

Several local newspapers lose newsrooms in Tribune Publishing cuts
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Several local newsrooms owned by Tribune Publishing, including the New York Daily News's Manhattan headquarters, will be permanently shuttered, the company announced Wednesday, citing economic concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the closures are several historic local newsrooms including the Capital Gazette's Annapolis newsroom, which the paper moved to after its previous newsroom was the site of a mass shooting in 2018 and is the only major daily newspaper publishing in the city. All of the papers are set to continue reporting and publishing for now.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we do not anticipate having employees that can work remotely coming back into the office for the remainder of the year and into 2021. With no clear path forward in terms of returning to work, and as the company evaluates its real estate needs in light of health and economic conditions brought about by the pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close the office,” the company said in a statement to CBS News affiliate WJZ in Baltimore.

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A reporter for the Baltimore Sun, which is owned by the same company, added on Twitter that the closures would also extend to the newsroom of the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Md., as well as the Morning Call's newsroom in Allentown, Pa.

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The city of Orlando's main newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, said Wednesday that it would "permanently vacate" the newspaper's main office on Orange Avenue, which it has operated out of for more than a half century.

“After careful deliberation, we have decided to permanently vacate our Orange Avenue office,” said publisher and general manager Nancy Meyer in an email to staff, according to the newspaper. “This decision was not made lightly or hastily. Instead, amid a pandemic that prevents us from safely returning to the office for an undetermined period of time, the company decided to formally close the Orange Avenue office on October 30, 2020.”

The New York Times reported that the company told employees of the New York Daily News that the company had made a similar decision to permanently shutter the paper's headquarters in Manhattan.

“We have determined that we do not need to reopen this office in order to maintain our current operations,” said Tribune Publishing human resources executive Toni Martinez in an email to staff obtained by the Times. “With this announcement, we are also beginning to look at strategic opportunities and alternatives for future occupancy.”

Tribune Publishing did not immediately return a request for a full list of closures from The Hill. In an email, a company spokesperson shared a generic statement for the closures referring to individual offices.

"Out of an abundance of caution we do not anticipate having employees that can work remotely coming back into the office for the remainder of the year and into 2021. With no clear path forward in terms of returning to work, and as the company evaluates its real estate needs in light of health and economic conditions brought about by the pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close the office," said Max Reinsdorf, the company's chief of staff.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. on 8/13 to correctly note which newsroom operated by the Capital Gazette would be affected by the cuts.