The San Diego Union-Tribune isn’t the only local newspaper reducing its staff right now. The North County Times cut 10 employees this week, including one columnist/reporter in the newsroom. The paper now employs 351 people.

The Times explained the reasons in a story posted last night:

Layoffs came in the graphics department, circulation, maintenance, pressroom and one in the newsroom.

“It’s unfortunate we needed to do this, but we need to be aware of economic reality,” Publisher Peter York said.

He cited a tough retail environment and the ongoing convulsions on Wall Street. “We’re now in uncharted waters in terms of a business model,” he said. The dismissed North County Times’ staffers were given a severance package.

The Times has already cut once this year, reducing the size of its editorial staff by 12 percent.

Lee Enterprises, the Times’ parent company, has been bashed on Wall Street. The company’s stock value has plunged 93 percent in the last five years. When 2005 dawned, Lee was worth $2 billion. Today, all of its stock is worth $119 million.

ROB DAVIS

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