The struggling Daily News is expected to begin another massive round of layoffs on Monday, The Post has learned.
The cuts at the teetering tabloid, which some insiders feared would range as high as 70 percent of staff, are expected to be among the largest in the paper’s 99-year history — and could include Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich, insiders said.
On Monday, Rich’s job description on his Twitter home page was changed from Daily News Editor-in-Chief to, “Just a guy sitting at home watching journalism being choked into extinction.”
Rich also tweeted on Monday: “If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you.”
Tronc, the paper’s Chicago-based parent, plans to radically tilt the News towards digital coverage and jettison many of its veteran journalists who built their reputations in print.
At Yankee Stadium last night, after the Yanks-Mets game was postponed on account of rain, baseball columnist John Harper and general news columnist Peter Botte were saying good-byes to other writers — after either being told of their pink slips or simply expecting the worst.
Frank Isola, the longtime Knicks and soccer columnist, has been telling friends he is exiting, sources said.
“Everyone is in a panic,” said one insider.
Newsroom staffers have been on edge for over a week in anticipation of the payroll bloodletting. Many were told via email on Sunday evening to assemble for a 9 a.m. meeting on Monday with Executive Vice President of digital Grant Whitmore, sources said.
The News, once the largest circulation paper in the country, has been a shell of itself for the better part of a decade. Monday’s cutbacks will likely include a drastic pullback in print circulation, sources said.
In what could be a somber scene, some staffers were planning to bring their own suitcases to work on Monday to be able to pack up their sizable personal belongings, one reporter whispered.
In anticipation of the mass layoffs, an outside security company has been hired for Monday and Tuesday when the pink slips will be handed out, sources said.
Tronc did not immediately return calls for comment.