Blog & Tackle: Sun sports pages take hit in cuts

April 29, 2009 | Chris Pika

If your morning Baltimore Sun looks thinner on Thursday, you can blame the Tribune Company, which reportedly made several cuts that impacted the sports pages (and the rest of the paper) in the last two days, according to DCRTV.com.

Gone from the sports desk, according to Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com, are columnists Rick Maese and David Steele, assistant sports editor/media columnist Ray Frager and assistant sports editor George VanDaniker. Sports reporter Bill Ordine was among those let go, according to The Real Muck, a Baltimore-area blog site run written by former Sun staffer David Ettlin.

In all, according to DCRTV.com, about 21 managerial-level employees were let go Tuesday, while 37 union-represented newsroom employees were released today in figures totaled by the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild (The Sun did not disclose job-loss figures.) According to the DCRTV.com story, some of the sports reporters found out while in the Oriole Park press box for today’s Orioles-Angels game.

A source in the Oriole Park press box told DCRTV late this afternoon that baseball writer Dan Connolly, who was originally reported by the web site to be one of the cuts, is still employed by The Sun. Another sports writer, Childs Walker, is being given an opportunity to return to the news desk according to DCRTV’s source.

In a press release from the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, the guild said that Tribune Co. plans to lay off 27 percent of the Sun’s newsroom staff, including four columnists. The 40 staffers who received notice today will be laid off by May 27.

According to the guild’s press release, since Tribune acquired The Sun in 1999, the newsroom staff has been cut by more than 60 percent to currently 148 employees from roughly 420.

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