The New York Daily News has laid off at least 17 newsroom staffers, including five photographers and four photo editors, according to the New York-based publication Capital. Among those who lost their jobs were photographer David Handschuh, who has been with the paper for 27 years; and Jim Alcorn, the paper’s second ranking photo editor.
Reached by telephone, Handschuh told PDN that he was “absolutely speechless” yesterday when he was called into the office from an assignment, “and told I was no longer an employee of the New York Daily News.
“I was shown the door and walked out by myself.”
Handschuh says the other photographers laid off with him include Andrew Theodorakis, Aaron Showalter, Enid Alvarez, and Mark Bonifacio. Besides Alcorn, the photo editors who lost their jobs were Karlo Pastrovic, Kevin Coughlin, and David Pokress, Handschuh says.
According to the Capital report, Daily News staffers were particularly outraged about the decision to lay off Handschuh, who nearly died while covering the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center for the paper on September 11, 2001.
Handschuh posted a message on Facebook saying, “I know that with support of my family and friends, I will overcome this minor hiccup in life much as I did 12 years ago when I was crushed under the the falling steel and concrete [of the World Trade Center]. The buildings are back. The spirit survives.”
Handschuh, who is 55, says he’s been busy with various projects and had had no plans to retire from the paper. “I was hoping to end my career being carried out of there,” he says.
Despite a dearth of newspaper staff jobs, he is optimistic about finding another job. “I have passion for this business and a desire to keep telling stories. It’s [a matter of] just finding the right place,” he says
The layoffs were the latest round in a series of layoffs at the paper. Like many newspapers, the Daily News has been facing declining circulation and print advertising sales revenue in recent years. Capital quoted a memo from the paper’s management saying that the latest lay offs would “put our company in a stronger position to be more competitive and accelerate our plans for digital expansion.”
More details about the layoffs are available at capitalnewyork.com