Las Vegas Sun publisher lays off at least 20

The Greenspun Media Group, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, on Tuesday laid off at least 20 employees as part of a major restructuring to consolidate its print and interactive operations.

Veteran reporters and editors with the Sun, its sister publications and online operations were among those laid off as of late Tuesday.

“It sounds like those with high salaries were let go,” said one former Sun employee who was familiar with the situation.

The former employee, who was not among those laid off, asked not to be identified.

The layoffs included at least 15 Sun staffers, an In Business Las Vegas editor and reporter, two Las Vegas Weekly staffers, a couple of support personnel and an unknown number of online employees, according to sources.

The reorganization and layoffs were announced Tuesday in a statement released by Greenspun Media Group Chairman Brian Greenspun, who said his company will “reorganize into a single location, with the goal of fully integrating print and interactive operations.”

The reorganization will combine the operations and staffs of its daily newspaper, the Las Vegas Sun Web site and the Las Vegas Weekly, LasVegasWeekly.com, In Business Las Vegas, Las Vegas Magazine, Vegas Magazine and Vegas2Go.

All of Greenspun Media’s operations will be moved from two buildings into one location.

“Today’s move reflects our commitment to the traditional media and our increasing commitment to the potential of digital age,” Greenspun said in the statement.

“The effort aligns into one team the editorial, online, advertising, marketing, production, human resources and finance arms of the local media operation,” the statement said in part.

The print publications will work with the staffs at Greenspun-related media KTUD-TV, Channel 14 and Las Vegas One.

The latest changes follow the recent closure of Greenspun’s community newspapers, the Henderson Home News and Boulder City News, and the shutdown of its Web and TV program 702.tv.

Greenspun staffers were called into a meeting Tuesday morning and told of the reorganization and pending layoffs, although sources said those being terminated were only notified as the staff cuts went on throughout the day.

By late Tuesday, layoffs were still being announced. One Sun employee was still awaiting word on her job as she went home, a source said.

The Greenspun Media Group does not disclose the exact number of employees it has, but its social media page, LinkedIn, said it had more than 200 employees before Tuesday.

The Sun won the Pulitzer Prize for public service this year.

Nevada Press Association Executive Director Barry Smith said he was saddened but “not surprised” to hear of the latest rash of newspaper layoffs. The publishing industry has been among the hardest hit in the recession.

“As long as the economy keeps going this way, it’s hard to imagine the cuts stopping with the way ad revenue is going,” he said.

Smith noted that the Sun invested heavily in its award-winning Web site and online operations in hopes of recouping some of the revenue declining ad sales have cost it and other publications.

“Until somebody figures out a way to replace print ad revenue with online ad revenue, this will happen,” he added. “You have to figure out ways to save money somehow, and this (layoffs) is the main place to save.”

Contact reporter Valerie Miller at vmiller @lvbusinesspress.com or 702-387-5286.

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