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Two newsroom sources at The San Diego Union-Tribune say at least 50 company employees will be laid off.

The exact number of layoffs is unknown, but the sources said employees will be not be laid off for two months — required by California law anytime an employer lets go of 50 or more employees. The company must provide all employees with a two-month written warning that mass layoffs are coming. The layoffs would happen at the end of that waiting period, leaving employees working for 60 days under the specter of losing their jobs.

The company appears to have prepared for the two-month notice requirement. Employees will be required to take pay cuts (if they’re salaried) and unpaid days off (if they’re hourly) in February and March.

Both sources said the newspaper’s South County bureau in Chula Vista will close and its employees will be moved to the company’s Mission Valley headquarters. One source said the bureau would close in June when its lease expired.

The newspaper, which has been for sale since the middle of last year, announced a wide array of cost-cutting measures last week as a response to a severe deterioration in advertising revenue, which it said has slipped 40 percent since 2006.

The paper has steadily cut its newsroom since that trend started. At least 74 positions have been eliminated from a newsroom once estimated to have as many as 360. Other employees have quit and their positions have been frozen or consolidated.

ROB DAVIS

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