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NYT To Cut 100 (More) Newsroom Jobs

Buried in the ‘Media & Advertising’ section of the the New York Times:

Times Says It Will Cut 100 Newsroom Jobs

By Richard Perez-Pena

October 19, 2009

The New York Times plans to eliminate 100 newsroom jobs — about 8 percent of the total — by year’s end, offering buyouts to union and non-union employees, and resorting to layoffs if it cannot get enough people to leave voluntarily, the paper announced on Monday.

The program mirrors one carried out in the spring of 2008, when the paper erased 100 positions in its newsroom, though other jobs were created, so the net reduction was smaller. That round of cuts included some layoffs of journalists — about 15 to 20, though The Times would not disclose the actual figure — which was the first time in memory that had happened.

The paper has made much deeper reductions in other, non-newsroom departments, where layoffs have occurred several times. But the advertising drop that has pummeled the industry has forced cuts in the news operation as well. The newsroom already has lowered its budgets for freelancers and trimmed other expenses, and employees took a 5 percent pay cut for most of this year…

The Times’s news department peaked at more than 1,330 employees before the last round of cuts. The current headcount is about 1,250; no other American newspaper has more than about 750.

The Times will mail buyout packages to the entire newsroom staff on Thursday. The employees have 45 days to decide whether to apply for the buyout. Under the Newspaper Guild contract that covers most newsroom employees, buyouts generally offer three weeks’ salary for each year of service.

In a note to the news staff, Bill Keller, the executive editor, wrote: “As before, if we do not reach 100 positions through buyouts, we will be forced to go to layoffs. I hope that won’t happen, but it might.”

“I won’t pretend that these staff cuts will not add to the burdens of journalists whose responsibilities have grown faster than their compensation,” he wrote, adding, “Like you, I yearn for the day when we can do our jobs without looking over our shoulders for economic thunderstorms.”

Times executives said this year that they did not anticipate the news staff shrinking in 2009, except through attrition, but that nothing was certain. In fact, the 5 percent pay cut was meant to forestall any staff reductions.

But we thought the recession was over?

[Bill Keller wrote] “I yearn for the day when we can do our jobs without looking over our shoulders for economic thunderstorms.”

Has Mr. Keller forgotten that the New York Times was in just as much trouble back when the economy was booming. Or does he only read his own paper and so missed that news.

In any case, Mr. Keller should not be looking over his shoulder at “economic thunderstorms,” but at the storm of people who are sick of their biased agenda.

Meanwhile, since we were just discussing the Solons of reportage at the Columbia School Of Journalism, here is their reaction to this terrible news:

Foreclosure Homeless, NYT Cuts, Fed Up?

By Ryan Chittum

October 19, 2009

Speaking of the Times, its journalist [sic] is about to get diluted. The paper says it will slash its newsroom by 100 people over the next couple of months. Some of its readers plead in comments: “Charge us!” If the paper doesn’t have the guts to say its report has value worth paying for in whatever format, it ought to at least enable online-only readers who want to support its journalism to somehow do so, whether its in the form of membership programs or a lowly PayPal tip jar.

Let’s say the paper saves about $20 million a year killing those 100 positions (the headcount cut is 8 percent and the Times’s newsroom budget is somewhere around $200 million a year). It could keep those journalists by getting 5 percent of its 17 million online readers to give it just $25 apiece.

What a great idea!

The Times should set up a tip jar for its online readers who feel bad about getting propagandized for free.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “NYT To Cut 100 (More) Newsroom Jobs”

  1. Tater Salad says:

    Nobody cares about the Democratic, liberal bias anymore. Everyone is going to Fox News which is great news for the Obama administration because they can watch Fox and get fair and balanced facts. Then again, maybe the Obama administration won’t do this will they??

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Quite possibly, the NYT being such a bootlicker for Obama, may be “too big to fail”.

    Unless, that is, their union reps were foolish enough not to cough up a substantial portion of their dues to his campaign.

  3. proreason says:

    100 points of light

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    Goodness .. will these Times folks be able to exist in the real world .. outside of the elite and deceptive womb of the “journalistic world”?

    His Highness, o-blah-blah, will likely come to their aid. Cheap propaganda’s hard to come by.

  5. wterrier says:

    “Or does he only read his own paper and so missed that news.”

    lol Steve you’re such a wit!

  6. Lisa22 says:

    Sink, Grey Lady, sink!!

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