NEW ORLEANS - The third round of layoffs in an approximately three-year span started at the NOLA publishing group Thursday, according to sources.
Some newsroom employees were being called in to meet with managers of the company, which publishes the Times-Picayune and the online news at NOLA.com. Additionally, sources said that a large portion of the full and part time staff that covers prep sports was being let go.
"I've been hearing the whispers for a couple of weeks now, so it was something unexpected," a now former NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune employee let go Thursday , who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It's unfortunate but it's a part of this industry."
Sources said that those let go include 28 full time and 9 part time staffers, or about 21 percent of the work force. Severance was being offered, though the details were not available. Some being let go will continue to work through Friday, though many were terminated immediately.
"By the time I got home and tried to check my email it had been deactivated," one former employee said.
A small number of people who work at the old Howard Avenue facility and produce the print edition were laid off in recent weeks. That comes as the copy desk prepares to design the newspapers for the Advance papers in Alabama. The newspaper will be designed in New Orleans, but printed in Alabama.
The first round of layoffs at the paper/online entity came in summer 2012 when the publication was cut to three days a week. At that time, approximately 200 people from across the company were let go.