Times-Picayune cutting half of news staff

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - In what its editor calls "a painful transition," The Times-Picayune in New Orleans has begun letting 200 employees know they will lose their jobs when the newspaper reduces its printing schedule from daily to three days a week .

The staff reductions, effective Sept. 30, include 84 of 169 newsroom employees - or about half the news staff.

Parent company Advance Publications plans to form a new company, NOLA Media Group, to oversee the 175-year-old newspaper and its affiliated website, NOLA.com.

In a video on the website, editor Jim Amoss said the new company will be a "digitally focused" operation. He said his top priorities will be New Orleans politics, culture, food, music and sports.

Some staffers who learned their fates let friends and colleagues know through social media sites.

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