Tribune Co.’s KTLA Los Angeles station has laid off at least half a dozen news division staffers and a handful of on-air talent, including station vet Walter Richards.
Correspondents Willa Sandmeyer and Janet Choi were also pinkslipped, the Los Angeles Times reported. The layoffs come on the heels of staff cuts at Tribune newspapers and other units as the company grapples with a sharp downturn in revenue and profits under its new private ownership structure.
KTLA’s management has undergone a major overhaul since real estate mogul Sam Zell took the reins of Chicago-based Tribune. Former KTLA general manager Vinnie Malcolm exited the station earlier this year, and the station has made changes in its news and programming departments.
There’s speculation that Tribune will move to consolidate some of the management of KTLA and its other marquee L.A. property, the Los Angeles Times, as Tribune recently did with its Orlando Sentinel newspaper and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based TV station WSFL-TV. The L.A. Times, which has absorbed several waves of layoffs and staff buyouts in the past few years, is expected to implement further staff reductions in the coming weeks.