A WARN notice has been filed with the state of Illinois in anticipation of 50 or more possible layoffs at Post-Tribune parent company Chicago Sun-Times Media Group, according to the union representing newsroom employees.
The layoffs should happen by March 25, when management determines how many employees are no longer needed after newsroom closures at the Post-Tribune in Merrillville, the Crown Point Star and other suburban newsrooms.
Sun-Times Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk, in a memo to employees last month, said all suburban newsrooms would be shut down, with editors transferred to Chicago and reporters working from home.
At the time, Kirk stated he did not anticipate cutting jobs.
The shutting down of Post-Tribune newsroom and advertising offices at 1433 E. 83rd Ave. would represent the end of the newspaper's physical presence in the region after a 105-year run. The union says it was told there may still be a "store-front" location.
In his memo, Kirk said the shuttering of all the newspaper group's Chicago-area suburban offices is being done to promote a "digital first" strategy.
Five years ago, the Post-Tribune transferred all its printing from its former headquarters on Broadway in Gary to the Chicago plant of the Sun-Times Media Group. More recently, the Sun-Times Media Group closed its printing plant and transferred that work to the Chicago Tribune Media Group's Chicago plant.
Not long after the announcement of the transfer of the Gary printing operation, the newspaper announced it would be closing its last remaining region news bureau in Valparaiso. At about the same time, it placed its Merrillville newsroom building up for sale.