Layoff day at the ‘New York Post’

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'New York Post' covers. ()
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Brooklyn court reporter Mitch Maddux and staff writer Pedro Oliveira Jr. are among those that sources tell Capital have lost their jobs at the New York Post today in a round of layoffs that was foreshadowed last month when editor Col Allan announced he was seeking a reduction of 10 percent of the paper's staff.

Also losing their jobs, according multiple sources, were "a lot of people" on the video staff, as well as members of the photo and copy desks and one person from the library. And Daily Racing Forum reporter David Grening, who used to work at the Post, reports that three racing writers and handicappers were laid off including John Da Silva and Ed Fountaine; that's remarkable, he points out, since it's the day before the Belmont Stakes.

UPDATE: Two sources tell Capital that longtime reporter Cynthia Fagen also was among those let go.

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A memo from Allan provided to Capital by a source and first published by Jim Romenesko broke the news that the Post was laying off a total of 13 employees today "across the organization." A Post source said that today's layoffs were all in editorial.

Last month, we broke the news that Allan was seeking a 10-percent reduction in the newspaper's headcount, hoping to the extent possible to forestall layoffs by offering buyout packages to selected employees first.

A Post spokesperson confirmed that the paper has achieved the 10-percent reduction through a combination of buyouts and layoffs. By our count, that brings the total number of newsroom positions eliminated at the Post to about two dozen.

One insider told Capital the newsroom headcount was believed to be above 200 before the culling began.

Acting political editor Tom Topousis, reporter Douglas Montero, longtime newsroom administrator Myron Rushetzky and cartoonist Sean Delonas are at least four who took buyouts of the those who were offered them. Offers went to people one source described to Capital as: "Loyal soldiers. Highest paid. Have pensions as well." Another source described the buyouts as "very generous, eye-opening generous."

The layoffs come as the Post's parent entity, News Corp., prepares to separate its publishing properties, which also include The Wall Street Journal and various newspapers in the U.K. and Australia, from the company's television and film assets.

The Post is the sixth most widely-read paper in the U.S., but during the six months between October and March, its combined print and digital average weekday circulation fell 9.9. percent year-over-year to 500,521, including 299,950 print copies, according to data released last week by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Post's average Sunday circulation plummetted 18.5 percent to 353,900 during the same period.

Know more? Write to joe@capitalnewyork.com. Requests for anonymity will be honored.