New York Times to cut 100 newsroom jobs


New York : 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.

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The programme 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, the leading US daily said Monday announcing the job cuts.

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 pummelled the industry has forced cuts in the news operation as well, the Times said.

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 Thursday. The employees have 45 days to decide whether to apply for the buyout.

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.