October 2, 2020

This story originally published Sept. 20. It has been updated to include more newsrooms. It was last updated Oct. 2.

The Tulsa (Oklahoma) World laid off at least 10 journalists Monday, Poynter has learned.

The World is owned by Lee Enterprises, which bought 31 newspapers from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway earlier this year.

Journalists laid off at the World are the latest in a growing list of media job losses caused by the pandemic and a string of layoffs at Lee newspapers in the past two weeks. We’ll continue updating this story with more if we learn of them.

Previously, Lee journalists were laid off at The (Lynchburg, Virginia) News & Advance, The (Fredericksburg, Virginia) Free Lance-Star, The Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch, The (Charlottesville, Virginia) Daily Progress, The (Greensboro, North Carolina) News & Record, the The Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal, the Casper (Wyoming) Star Tribune, the Omaha (Nebraska) World Herald, the (Scottsbluff Nebraska) Star-Herald, The Grand Island (Nebraska) Independent, The (Bloomington, Illinois) Pantagraph, The (Decatur, Illinois) Herald & Review, Capital Newspapers in Madison, Wisconsin, Ladue News in St. Louis, Missouri, The Quad-City (Iowa) Times, the St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch, the Glens Falls (New York) Post-Star, The (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) Sentinel and the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal. The Philomath (Oregon) Express also closed and laid off one person. We count at least 50 layoffs from those newspapers. You can see our full list here.

Poynter has emailed Lee Enterprises for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

As we previously reported, “Lee owns newspapers in 25 states, including the St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch, the Tulsa (Oklahoma) World and the Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald. At the beginning of the year, the company bought 31 daily newspapers, including The Buffalo News, from BH Media Group for $140 million.”

Like many other media organizations at the onset of the pandemic, Lee previously instituted pay cuts and furloughs.

The Tulsa World previously laid off seven people from its design desk earlier this month. It also announced this weekend a leadership change. Executive editor Susan Ellerbach will retire at the end of September and will be replaced by Jason Collington, a 20-year veteran of the World. Both Ellerbach and Collington said on Monday they had no comment on the layoffs.

Kristen Hare covers the business and people of local news for Poynter.org and is the editor of Locally. You can subscribe to her weekly newsletter here. Kristen can be reached at khare@poynter.org or on Twitter at @kristenhare.

Also contributing to this report was Barbara Allen, director of college programming. She can be reached at ballen@poynter.org or on Twitter, @barbara_allen_

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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