Pay cuts and layoffs announced at CL's former sister papers

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Employees of alternative weeklies in Chicago, Washington and Atlanta were told in meetings today they'd get an across-the-board 5 percent pay cut in their next paychecks. The news comes as the papers, which include the Washington City Paper, Chicago Reader and Creative Loafing Atlanta, look for new owners. Four staffers at CL Atlanta were laid off.

All three papers, including CL Charlotte and CL Tampa, were owned by Creative Loafing Inc. until that company went bankrupt in 2008. A hedge then took ownership of the papers. However, CL Charlotte and CL Tampa were purchased by SouthComm Inc. in 2011 and are no longer related to the papers in Atlanta, Chicago and Washington.

Says Poynter:

Employees at Washington City Paper, Chicago Reader, and Creative Loafing Atlanta were told at meetings today they’d be getting an across-the-board 5 percent pay cut with their next paycheck. There have been layoffs at the Atlanta paper and there will be “job restructuring” elsewhere. This all comes as the papers prepare to look for new owners.

At a meeting this afternoon, Washington City Paper publisher Amy Austin she is looking for a new owner, preferably local, for the 31-year-old paper.

In Atlanta, four staffers lost their jobs: special projects director Chanté LaGon, food critic Besha Rodell, staff writer Scott Henry and critic Curt Holman.

Reached by telephone, group publisher Alison Draper says the cost reductions and the plans to sell the paper are “parallel initiatives” and not intended to sweeten the papers for potential buyers.

CL Atlanta blogged about it earlier today.

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