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More tough times for N.Y. Times as it plans to cut newsroom staff

nytimes_optBY REBECCA SHEEHAN
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Times are tough and they just keep getting harder economically. Businesses all across the country are looking for ways to cut costs, but still are striving to put out a top-notch product. During these trying times, layoffs are prevalent, while raises are becoming virtually non-existent. The newspaper advertising industry is going through its toughest period yet, as The New York Times announced that buyout packages are now on the table for its newsroom employees.

According to the New York Times, the primary goal of the buyout program is to trim 30 non-union managers from its staff in the advertising department. Also, employees represented by the Newspaper Guild, which represents 3,000 employees at New York area-based news organizations, as well as a few non-news organizations, are also eligible to volunteer for the package.

"There is no getting around the hard news that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced,” wrote Times executive editor Jill Abramson in her own memo, which was reported by the Huffington Post. "I hope the needed savings can be achieved through voluntary buyouts but if not, I will be forced to go to layoffs among the excluded staff."

Advertising revenue as a whole for all newspapers in The New York Times Company, (which includes The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The International Herald Tribune), has completely fallen off the radar, with print advertising among those papers shrinking 10.9 percent.

With the terms of the buyout, employees have until Jan. 24th to accept a severance package. Abramson recommended employees in her memo, to consider “whether accepting a voluntary severance package at this time in your life makes sense.”

“These are financially challenging times,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the chairman of the Times Company, said in a statement reported by the Times. “While our digital subscription plan has been highly successful, the advertising climate remains volatile and we don’t see this changing in the near future.”

In 2008 the times went through a round of buyouts cutting 100 employees and then followed it up in 2011 with another 20.

 

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