LEO Weekly left with no full time editorial staff - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LEO Weekly left with no full time editorial staff

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Two LEO Weekly editors walked out during a meeting Monday, leaving the paper with not a single full time editorial employee. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Two LEO Weekly editors walked out during a meeting Monday, leaving the paper with not a single full time editorial employee. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
In the meantime the paper will continue with freelancers. (Source: WAVE 3 News) In the meantime the paper will continue with freelancers. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Aaron Yarmuth (Source: WAVE 3 News) Aaron Yarmuth (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A firestorm erupted after a round of layoffs at a Louisville newspaper.

Two LEO Weekly editors walked out during a meeting Monday, leaving the paper with not a single full time editorial employee, but the paper still expects to go to press.

"It is slightly unnerving," the new owner of LEO Weekly Aaron Yarmuth said.

Monday was his first day on the job since he finalized the purchase of the paper from SouthComm Friday.

Yarmuth said editors Peter Berkowitz and Joe Sonka are refusing to sign their new job offers unless more staff is hired.

"They had already felt stretched pretty thin so this was a little bit of a sensitive area," Yarmuth said.

On Friday the paper laid off two other staffers. Editor Sara Havens said she hopes LEO will continue with “all the integrity and passion.”

April Corbin, who was also laid off Friday, sounded off on twitter. She tweeted, “When Aaron called me today, I answered hoping he'd realized he was in over his head and needed a staff. I am a sucker 'til the end.”

Yarmuth says the paper wouldn't have survived.

"You know a paper our size wasn't really in a position to have that many full time staffers," he said.

Yarmuth hopes the two editors who walked out will walk back in and work things out. In the meantime the paper will continue with freelancers, not full time employees.

"The paper is going to press tomorrow and we're going to have a great issue," Yarmuth said.

But not everyone shares his optimism. Sonka mocked Yarmuth on twitter saying, “Yarmuth on Wednesday's issue of LEO: "It's going to be a great issue."

Former staff members we spoke with Monday would not talk about the tweets on camera. They also didn't want to have a conversation on the record about the turmoil.

Meanwhile, Yarmuth released a statement on the LEO Weekly Facebook page called "Breaking the Silence." To view his comment, click here.

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