New York Times offers buyouts to 30 newsroom journalists

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, December 3, 2012 12:55 EDT
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The New York Times (AFP)
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The New York Times said Monday it was offering buyouts to 30 newsroom managers and other journalists as part of an ongoing cost-cutting drive in a difficult environment for the newspaper industry.

“There is no getting around the hard news that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced,” executive editor Jill Abramson said in a letter to staff, which was was cited in the newspaper.

The Times reported that the primary goal of the program is to trim managers and other non-union employees, but will also offer some reporters and editors in the newsroom a chance to volunteer for buyouts.

The prestigious US daily has been cutting jobs in recent years even as it expands its online operations, and now has a newsroom roughly the same size as in 2003, about 1,150 people.

Employees will be given until January 24 to decide on accepting a severance package, according to the memo, which also stated: “I hope the needed savings can be achieved through voluntary buyouts but if not, I will be forced to go to layoffs among the excluded staff.”

The cutbacks come less than a month after unionized newsroom employees ratified a new contract through 2016 which offers modest raises and a revamped pension, ending a deadlock of more than a year and a half.

The New York Times Company, seeking to manage a shift to a digital platform, recently reported net income for the third quarter of $2.28 million, a slump of 85 percent from a year ago.

Overall revenue fell 0.6 percent from a year ago to $449 million, hurt by weakness in advertising, but partially offset by gains in paid digital subscribers.

Agence France-Presse
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