New York Times plans to cut 100 jobs
NEW YORK - The New York Times Company shocked staff this week after it said it will cut more than 100 editorial jobs or 8% or its staff by the end of the year.
The company said it was looking for 100 newsroom staff to take voluntary redundancy, but executive editor Bill Keller wrote in an email to staff that if there were not enough volunteers compulsory redundancies would follow.
Staff have 45 days to consider the buyout offer as the company prepares to make the second biggest cut to editorial department in its history following last year's cut of 100.
News of the job losses staff face were greeted by shock and few are expected to take the voluntary way out. The cuts were announced ahead of the media firm's third quarter results on Thursday that are expected to show a drop in advertising and profits. The paper's quarter two results saw profits fall 42%.
In his email to staff, which Keller said he was prevented from delivering in person due to illness, he said that in recent years the New York Times had managed to avoid the disabling cutbacks that have hit other newsrooms. He went on to remind staff that after the cuts the paper would still remain a potent force in journalism.
Keller said: "These latest cuts will still leave us with the largest, strongest and most ambitious editorial staff of any newsroom in the country, if not the world."
Staff have already taken a 5% pay cut as part of a cost saving plan, which was designed to allay future job losses. However, the cuts have not gone deep enough at the paper, which employs around 1,250 staff.
This is down from 1,332 in February 2008 prior to the New York Times reducing the size of its editorial division that is by far the biggest of any newspaper in the US where no other paper has more than 750 journalists on staff.
The latest round of cuts to its editorial business will likely be the largest yet. In addition to the 100 newsroom positions on the line staff working in op-ed, business and other editorial departments also face the prospect of losing their jobs.
Last week the New York Times Company dropped plans to sell The Boston Globe after months of talks and attracting a number of buyers.
Keller's full memo below:
I had planned to invite you to the newsroom and break this news in person today, but I've been hit by something that seems to be the flu. Though I strongly believe in delivering bad news in person, I don't want to add insult to injury by spreading infection.
Let me cut to the chase: We have been told to reduce the newsroom by 100 positions between now and the end of the year.
We hope to accomplish this by offering voluntary buyouts. On Thursday, the Company will be sending buyout offers to everyone in the newsroom. Getting a buyout package does NOT mean we want you to leave. It is simply easier to send the envelopes to everyone. If you think a buyout may be right for you, you have up to 45 days to decide whether you will accept it or not.
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.
Our colleagues in editorial and op-ed, and on the business side, also face another round of budget cuts.
In recent years, we've managed to avoid the disabling cutbacks that have hit other newsrooms. The Company has chosen to protect the journalism by cutting production and other business-side costs, and the newsroom itself has managed its resources frugally. These latest cuts will still leave us with the largest, strongest and most ambitious editorial staff of any newsroom in the country, if not the world.
I won't pretend that these staff cuts will not add to the burdens of journalists whose responsibilities have grown faster than their compensation. But we've been looking hard at ways to minimize the impact -- in part, by re-engineering some of our copy flow. I won't promise this will be easy or painless, but I believe we can weather these cuts without seriously compromising our commitment to coverage of the region, the country and the world. We will remain the single best news organization on earth.
I doubt that anyone is shocked by the fact of this, but it is happening sooner than anyone anticipated. When we took our 5 percent pay cuts, it was in the hope that this would fend off the need for more staff cuts this year. But I accept that if it's going to happen, it should be done quickly. We will get through this and move on.
In my absence, Bill Schmidt and John and Jill have volunteered to take your questions this afternoon. Feel free to bring additional questions to me as soon as I'm back, or check with Bill Schmidt or John or Jill privately, or save them for the next Throw Stuff at Bill session, which is in a couple of weeks.
We often -- and rightly -- voice our gratitude that we work for a company and a family that prize quality journalism above all. I hope you know that the company and the family, and I, feel an equal debt of gratitude to all of you whose sacrifice and loyalty have kept us strong.
Like you, I yearn for the day when we can do our jobs without looking over our shoulders for economic thunderstorms.
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- Account Director Dot-Gap £45k, Central London
- Digital Strategist Dot-Gap £50k, Central London
- Decision Sciences Analyst Dot-Gap £35k, London
- Digital Media Manager Dot-Gap £35k, Central London
- Head of Display Dot-Gap £75k, Central London
- Integrated Account Manager Dynamic New Alliances £25000.00 - £30000.00 per annum, London