Layoffs reported at The Bakersfield Californian

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In this photo taken Nov. 2, 2018, is the home of The Bakersfield Californian Media Company in Bakersfield, Calif. After 122 years of family ownership, the Bakersfield Californian has been sold to a Canadian publisher, the newspaper announced. The Harrell-Fritts family said in a message to readers on Sunday, June 2, 2019, that Sound News Media, a new company run by publisher Steven Malkowich, has purchased the Californian and its corporate entity, TBC Media. (Alex Horvath/The Californian via AP)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — At least six people employed at The Bakersfield Californian were given notice Wednesday they are being laid off, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Those informed they are being let go include four people on the copy desk, an advertising sales coordinator and Jim Lawitz, the paper’s vice president and executive editor, confirmed sources at the paper who asked to remain anonymous as they weren’t authorized to speak on the matter.

Lawitz’s last day is Thursday, sources said. He did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The layoffs come roughly two-and-a-half weeks after the paper was bought by newly-formed Sound California News Media Inc., started by Canadian businessman Steven Malkowich. His purchase of the Californian from TBC Media ended 122 years of family ownership.

Malkowich previously bought the Antelope Valley Press and Lodi News-Sentinel.

On June 3, Malkowich sent an email to staff saying, in part, “For now, however, rest assured that we are making the purchase of the Bakersfield Californian and ancillary publications with the intent to continue on with the publishing of the daily newspaper in Kern County and to create a structure which ensures the  economic viability of the business and the important services you currently provide to the region well into the future.”

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