Update: The Times-Picayune has confirmed these reports.
The Times-Picayune in New Orleans may cease daily publication and plans deep staff cuts, reports the Times' David Carr. Editor Jim Amoss will leave the paper, according to Carr, as will managing editors Peter Kovacs and Dan Shea. The two managing editors were not involved in meetings held this week by incoming publisher Ricky Mathews, who already was set to replace Ashton Phelps Jr. as publisher later this year.
The Times-Picayune "will likely publish two or three times a week rather than daily," employees of the paper told Carr. The Picayune's owner, Advance Publications, did something similar with the Ann Arbor News in 2009, cutting staff and focusing its efforts on AnnArbor.com.
Carr described the staff cuts as "large"; Gambit's Kevin Allman says a source told him via email:
The staff will immediately be whacked by at least a third (from 150 to 100 or fewer reporters). Top brass will be fired and reporters who remain aboard will take sharp salary cuts and be expected to start blogging through the day [for affiliated website NOLA.com].According to Carr, the Picayune "has avoided some of the deeper cuts in the industry, in part because the newspaper played such a critical role in the coverage of Katrina and its aftermath." The newspaper published online for three days, and after it resumed the print paper, "its follow-up coverage was praised as being deep and meaningful, especially in a city that was short on good information and rife with rumor and chaos." (more...)