1:12 pm Nov. 4, 20116
Layoffs have come to the Daily News.
Since this morning, staffers to be laid off have been getting called into a conference room to meet with senior vice president of human-resources Jeff Zomper. They're being told the layoffs are part of a "downsizing" operation at the paper. The layoffs aren't yet complete, (The New York Observer and the New York Post are putting the total number at 10); we've confirmed the names of a few of those who've been laid off so far.
Bob Kappstatter, a 43-year veteran of the paper who just turned 68, was one of them.
"It's been a great ride, I've loved this paper; it's been the best job in the world," Kappstatter, whose most recent title was Deputy Police Bureau Chief, told Capital. "I've seen and done things I never would have done anywhere else. I look forward to staying in the business. I'm available!"
Other victims of the downsizing are long-time political reporter Frank Lombardi; federal courts reporter Scott Shifrel; City Hall reporter Kate Lucadamo; and long-time staff photographer John Roca.
Asked about the layoffs, spokesperson Jennifer Mauer would only say, "we don't comment on personnel matters."
The News is in the throes of some internal tumult. Managing editor and tabloid veteran Stuart Marques was reportedly pushed out Oct. 14, though not all reports seemed sure that he didn't quit.
The managing photo editor also resigned this week and will leave the paper at the end of the month, as Capital first reported last night.
Last week editor in chief Kevin Convey brought the managing editors into a meeting telling them he was restructuring the top of the masthead, according to the New York Post's Keith Kelly.
They would name three new managing editors: One editor from the digital side, one "senior editor of convergence," who is working on integrating the digital and print newsrooms, and a third who'd been Senior Executive Editor.
This replaced a structure in which seven managing editors, each with their own departments, reported to Convey.
Kelly also reported that the M.E.'s appealed to chief executive William Holliber about the changes.
Another change: Arthur Brown's jump from the editorial pages to the No. 2 position at the paper, under Convey.
Convey is rumored to be under the gun. But during an online chat with readers last week, he put a positive spin on all the change at the paper.
"We're in the midst of a reorganization right now to bring the print and web staffs together for the first time, make the company digital first, and make all of our content platform-agnostic," he said. "We're always looking for ways to get better."
The staff reductions come at the end of a week that started off on a high note for the News. Data released Tuesday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations showed that the paper had moved up the auditor's rankings to become the No. 4 top-selling daily in the U.S.
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