The NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune reshuffling saga continues with the news that longtime music reporter Keith Spera has been asked to focus on general metro news instead of the city’s music scene. The revelation comes on the heels of a round of layoffs at the publication, which saw the company dump 21 percent of its overall content operation’s full-time employees, including Spera’s fellow music writer Alison Fensterstock.
According a post on his Facebook page, Spera, who was an editor at Offbeat from 1991 to 1996, has been “offered a job as a reporter on one of the newly created Metro news teams” that would allow him to “write the occasional music-related news story” without being a full-time music writer. The post went on to suggest that he has not reached a decision on the offer.
Music wasn’t the only department to take a hit at NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune last week, as 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 also let go.
The layoffs came after 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 the company to reorganize.