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Turmoil — and Pink Slips — at the Washington Times

Paper cuts staff, axes sports section

The Washington Times has laid off a number of high-ranking staffers, including managing editors Jeffrey Birnbaum and David Jones, assistant world and national security managing editor Barbara Slavin and others.

What’s more, the Washington Times decided to axe the sports section. According to the section’s Twitter feed, Friday’s print edition will be the last to include sports.

Ryan O’Halloran, the paper’s NFL beat writer, then tweeted this: “Times sports section is kaput. Make sure to call and cancel subscriptions after Friday.”

Some other details, gleaned from Politico and Twitter:

At a 3:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday, [president and publisher] Jonathan Slevin "spoke before staffers were given an envelope that basically informed them whether they were staying or going."

"None of us understand what the strategy is," Slavin told Politico, adding that the cuts have been done in a "haphazard way."

“With the ‘you’re getting fired’ packet, @washtimes was kind of enough to give a PINK sheet of paper with open jobs to apply for.”

Slevin’s announcement, released after the meeting:

“Newsroom leadership and management positions announced include the following: Christopher Dolan, National Politics Editor; Jerry Seper, Investigative Editor; Victor Morton, News Editor; and John Bourantos, Night Editor. Other newsroom positions yet to be announced are Editor, Geopolitics Editor, International Business Editor, Online Editor, and News Director. Brett Decker, currently Managing Editor, Editorial and Commentary Pages, was promoted to the position of Editorial Page Editor. Current Managing Editor-Digital Jeff Birnbaum has resigned his management position and will continue as a Washington Times columnist covering Washington policy and politics.”

A new, “refocused” print edition is slated for Monday.