Los Angeles Times Begins Expansion of El Segundo Campus After Historic Layoffs: ‘I Could Have Sworn We Were Broke’ | Exclusive

Staffers were notified on Tuesday that construction had begun on “the final piece” of the campus

The Los Angeles Times building
The Los Angeles Times building (Credit: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Despite the Los Angeles Times laying off a staggering 200 staffers in January, construction has now begun expanding its El Segundo campus, TheWrap has learned.

“Construction of the final piece of the Los Angeles Times El Segundo campus has begun,” staffers were notified via an internal email on Tuesday. “Once completed, the new building, in between the offices and parking structure, will house the mailroom, dedicated space to preserve The Times archives and a gallery designed to host exhibits and events for the public.”

Quipped a staffer who forwarded the memo to TheWrap: “I could have sworn we were broke.”

In January, owner Patrick Soon-Shiong defended the largest editorial staff cuts in the publication’s 133-year history as “necessary.” He said at the time that the paper “could no longer lose $30 million to $40 million a year without making progress toward building higher readership that would bring in advertising and subscriptions to sustain the organization.” 

After the official layoffs, an undisclosed number of staffers took buyouts, including veteran reporter and guild president Matt Pearce, which meant that some of the previously laid-off employees could be hired back.

Soon-Shiong, a biotech billionaire, purchased the paper in February 2018 for $500 million and announced that April he moving the Times from its historic home in downtown Los Angles to a 4.5 acre campus in El Segundo. The gallery and archives were mentioned in the original plans, with designs being overseen by his wife Michele.

On March 14, The Real Deal, citing Los Angeles property records, reported that Soon-Shiong’s biotechnology company NantWorks purchased another building in the area, paying $25 million for 1940 East Mariposa Avenue, which is a roughly 84,000-square-foot building. It’s not clear if the building will be used for the Times or for Soon-Shiong’s other businesses.

The Times building has been largely unoccupied since March 2020 when the company instated a stay-at-home order during the COVID pandemic. The company has since not required staffers to come to the El Segundo office on a regular basis.

A representative for the Times did not immediately reply to TheWrap’s request for comment. A spokesperson for NantWorks declined to comment and did not respond to an email.

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