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AP lays off veteran Michelle Locke

Dozens of UC-Berkeley students occupied a campus office building Friday and thousands demonstrated outside over a student fee hike, but the AP had to cover it without its Berkeley bureau reporter Michelle Locke.

Locke, a 24-year veteran of AP, was laid off this week, according to Erin Carlson of Silicon Valley Insider.

The 8th Ld-writethru of the protest story at 9:29 p.m. Friday had no byline.

AP said it laid off 90 news employees worldwide this week to reach its goal of cutting annual payroll costs by 10%.

Gawker has been putting together a layoff list with tips pouring in from across the country. One Gawker tipster wrote: “The national desk was simply eliminated.”

One of Locke’s specialties was coverage of the wine industry, and her loss was quickly noted by others.

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