Associated Press President and CEO Tom Curley told a group of employees today that the AP could lose up to 10 percent of its staff by the end of 2009, but likely through attrition not layoffs.
AP spokesman Paul Colford confirmed that Curley had made such comments during an employee town hall meeting today, adding that "he was met with applause at the end of the meeting."
Colford noted that the employee reduction would likely occur through attrition because the news cooperative has been under a hiring freeze for several weeks.
He said the organization employs 4,100 people worldwide, including about 3,000 in editorial positions.
Colford also issued a statement:
"The Associated Press, like virtually every business in the world, is defining strategies for operating in these complex and difficult financial times. All areas and ways of doing business are being reviewed. The AP, which recently instituted a strategic hiring freeze, may need to reduce staff over the next year. If so, it hopes to achieve much of the reduction through attrition.
"While we are looking for new efficiencies in the way we operate, AP's mission as the essential global news network does not change. Plans for the rollout of regional desks in the United States, which will provide deeper, more relevant coverage for our members, will continue, with hubs being developed in Chicago and Phoenix joining those already announced in Atlanta and Philadelphia."