The New York Times will cut 100 newsroom jobs by year’s end, or about 8 percent of the total, by offering buyouts—and resorting to layoffs if not enough employees sign up for the offer, Richard Perez-Pena of the Times’ Media Decoder blog reports.
flickr: Robert Scoble
The paper will then have about 1,250 journalists in the newsroom; no other American paper has more than about 750, Perez-Pena notes.
If the paper needs to lay off any journalists to reach its 100-employee-reduction goal, it will only be the second time in memory that that has happened; the first time being in the spring of 2008 when about 15-20 journalists lost their jobs.
The paper has also imposed a 5 percent pay cut on employees and cut freelance budgets.
The memo from editor Bill Keller reads, in part:
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.
The full memo appears at the New York Observer.