09/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Chicago Tribune Cuts Hit Journalists Of Color

The Chicago Tribune laid off 40 newsroom employees Friday, a disproportionate number of whom were journalists of color, according to Trib employees in a report on Richard Prince's Journal-Isms.

Among those called in Friday and told their jobs were eliminated was Ray Quintanilla, a 14-year Tribune veteran. "It's sad because if you look at the list, it's heavily minority. It looks bad," he told Journal-isms. He said his marching orders came a day after he challenged a powerful white Tribune columnist who for the fifth time had hired a white assistant, asking the columnist if he had considered any people of color. He recalled that owner Sam Zell had told employees to question authority.

Quintanilla said the columnist publicly challenged him to a fight, and said he has filed a complaint with the Tribune's human relations department.

The reporter said he could not prove his layoff was related to the Thursday incident, but said, "It just smells bad to me."

Neither the columnist nor Tribune editor Gerould W. Kern responded to requests for comment....

Quintanilla, 46, said he expected more from the paper after he returned from covering Iraq in the early days of the war, which began in 2003. "The Tribune is where minority reporters can go to die. They get lost in the bureaucracy and they're ignored," he told Journal-isms.

Read the rest of Prince's story here.

Lists of departed staffers can be found here and here.

New editor Kern's memo on the layoffs and buyouts can be read here.