- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Media Group is laying off at least 15 people all together at its three main hubs in Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile in a move announced Tuesday.

A written statement from the company said five to nine full-time journalists were being terminated in each city as it tries to align its journalism with consumer demands.

The company had 136 editorial staffers at last count before the changes, said vice president of content Michelle Holmes.

Remaining staff members will concentrate on investigative reporting; breaking news; high school and college sports; and Alabama life and culture, the company said.

“The company continues its previously announced commitment to video and is hiring staff skilled in creating original programming,” said the statement.

The statement did not say how many journalists were working at Al.com, The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register before the cuts.

Holmes, in the statement, said the cutbacks were needed “to align our costs with the business realities we face in today’s challenging media climate.”

Alabama Media Group is being combined with the New Orleans-based NOLA Media Group in a move announced in June. The new Southeast Regional Media Group launches later this year.

The company, which distributes printed newspapers three days a week in each main city, said its digital audience has grown 70 percent over the same time last year.

Alabama Media Group is part of the New York-based, privately owned Advance Publications Inc.

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