Music Writer Among Staffers Laid Off at Times Picayune / The Times-Picayune music writer Alison Fensterstock was laid off today, along with another 28 full time and nine part-time staffers. According to NOLA Media Group President Ricky Mathews, the layoffs included 21 percent of the overall content operation’s full-time employees.

Fensterstock wrote for Gambit prior to her gig with / The Times-Picyaune, and she has contributed to OffBeat on a number of occasions in the past as well. (We also profiled Fensterstock and her husband for a 2011 article on music industry couples). Her latest article, titled “New venues, new promoters amp up New Orleans live music scene,” was published this past Monday, September 14.

“Alison Fensterstock is one of the finest music writers in the city,” noted OffBeat Managing Editor Joseph Irrera. “The Times Picayune and’s music coverage will not be the same without her.”

Gambit reports that federal courts reporter Andy Grimm, reporter Ben Myers, graphics reporter/editor Dan Swenson, coastal parish/Gulf of Mexico reporter Benjamin Alexander Bloch, assistant photo editor Dinah Rogers and much of the prep sports staff were among those that were let go.

The layoffs come in the wake of the announcement of a planned merger between Advance Publications-owned entities NOLA Media Group and Alabama Media Group. The two companies confirmed their plans to form a new Southeast Regional Media Group this past June, and many expected a round of layoffs to follow.