Layoffs hit hard in N.Y., Pa. and Calif.

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Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 2:14 pm | Updated: 9:49 am, Mon Oct 15, 2012.

Almost 250 staffers at the Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y., the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., and North County Times in Escondido, Calif., lost their jobs last week as the papers’ publishers retooled operations.

Job losses at The Post-Standard and Patriot-News neared 170, according to various sources. Advance Publications, which owns the papers, is reducing the number of print days at both sites effective Jan 1. Both newspapers say many of those who were informed their jobs were ending could reapply for new jobs that are being created as part of the digital-centric shift.

At the North County Times, about 80 workers are losing their positions after the acquisition of the paper by UT-San Diego owner Doug Manchester.

MLIM Holdings, controlled by Manchester, bought the Times from Lee Enterprises for $11.95 million. MLIM will consolidate some of the Times’ newsgathering with UT-San Diego and make other operational changes, the company said.

Additional cutbacks could also be in store at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News as publisher Interstate General Media takes steps to reduce costs. In a memo posted on Jim Romenesko’s site Publisher Bob Hall told employees that although execs remain optimistic, “we all need to recognize the very difficult decisions and limited choices that are presented to us under the current circumstances.”

Hall said IGM missed its revenue projections by more than $1 million and that August sales were down more than 20 percent from August 2011.

Hall also said IGM named Mike Lorenca as chief operating officer and general manager of newspaper operations; and George Loesch senior vice president of sales and marketing. Jeffrey Berger, who had served as vice president of systems and technology, has left the company, Hall said.

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