Staff at the Creative Loafing papers — Chicago Reader, Creative Loafing Atlanta, and Washington City Paper — were informed today that salaries are being reduced by 5 percent company-wide.
In Atlanta, editor Eric Celeste says that four employees were let go: Award-winning food editor/restaurant critic Besha Rodell, senior staff writer Scott Henry, arts writer Curt Holman, and director of special projects Chanté LaGon:
“There is no other way to put it: Losing these people as full-time employees is a blow to our company and our community, and they cannot be replaced,” Celeste said in a blog post, adding, “Posting will be light or non-existent the rest of the day.”
Efforts to sell the chain’s remaining papers have taken on an increased urgency recently. Yesterday the Reader reported that vice president and group publisher Alison Draper is taking a more active role in finding a local suitor with a “long-term vision” for the Chicago paper.
And Poynter reports that Washington City Paper publisher Amy Austin is seeking a local buyer as well.
Former City Paper editor Erik Wemple: “Five percent of little is very little.”