The company that produces The Times-Picayune is laying off 28 workers March 31 as it ceases operation of its ad production and call center business units at its Howard Avenue headquarters in New Orleans, a letter to the state’s labor department says.
The letter sheds new light on The Times-Picayune’s plan for its second major layoff in three years. The newspaper had not specifically identified those business units for closure in an October announcement that it would be consolidating its printing operations with a sister paper in Mobile, Alabama, and laying off 100 workers. The outsourcing of the print operation is expected to occur in late 2015 or early 2016, the October announcement on nola.com said.
Voluntary notification of the ad production and call center layoffs was provided to the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s dislocated workers unit in a Jan. 23 letter from Ray Massett, general manager of Advance Central Services Louisiana.
Advance Central Services Louisiana handles the production of The Times-Picayune and other activities, while NOLA Media Group was formed in 2012 to oversee newsgathering at nola.com and The Times-Picayune.
The Times-Picayune previously laid off 200 employees in 2012 as it shifted resources to its website, with home-delivery print editions just three days a week.
In early 2013, the company moved much of its operation to the top two floors of One Canal Place, leaving a relatively small staff behind at Howard Avenue. That office will be abandoned with the transfer of print operations to Alabama.
Where possible, employees with the ad production and call center units can apply for other positions or will receive severance pay, Massett’s letter said.