The New York Times is attempting to save costs by implementing another round of newsroom staff cuts. According to a memo sent by executive editor Jill Abramson this morning, the newspaper is looking for 30 buyouts among newsroom staff. Over the next few days, Abramson wrote, certain employees will be asked to accept voluntary severance packages. (Newspaper Guild members also have the option to apply for a buyout even if they’re not among those contacted by the NYT.) If the quota isn’t met through buyouts, Abramson will be “forced to go to layoffs,” she said.
“Over the past several years, our colleagues on the business side have seen their numbers reduced by more than 60 percent,” wrote Abramson. “While we have had reductions too, including a round of buyouts and layoffs that claimed 100 jobs in 2008, the newsroom has been spared the worst of it.”
Despite the New York Times Co.’s continued success with its online paywall, advertising revenue is still falling. According to a third-quarter earnings statement, while digital subscriptions were up 11 percent, ad revenues dropped 8.9 percent.
The most recent round of newsroom buyouts came in the fall of 2011 when about 20 news staffers took severance packages. Both 2008 and 2009 saw more widespread cuts. About 100 jobs were eliminated in each of those years.