February 19, 2009

Virginian-Pilot to lay off 30

The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot plans to lay off 30 employees and suspend the print version of its free art and entertainment weekly, the newspaper said Thursday.

In addition to terminating the printed version of Port Folio Weekly, effective following next week's edition, the newspaper said it will close Mix, described as a free multicultural monthly that began publication in 2007 and will cease with the March issue.

Pilot President and Publisher Maurice Jones said the newspaper will continue producing the arts and entertainment Web site portfolioweekly.com, and will consider reviving an arts and entertainment print weekly when the economy recovers.

Jones said both Port Folio Weekly and Mix were losing money.

This is not an issue of, Did we have loyal readers of Port Folio and Mix? he said. This is an issue of not having an adequate advertising base to support the costs of producing the print products.

Of the 30 jobs being eliminated, 10 are at Port Folio and Mix, eight are online operations positions, six are being cut in The Pilot's newsroom and six are being cut in other departments, the newspaper said.

The layoffs follow a round of layoffs announced late last year, in which The Pilot and affiliated companies eliminated 150 positions representing about 12 percent of its work force.