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BUYOUT ANYONE?: Senior editors and managers are the target of a new round of buyout offers at the New York Times, executive editor Jill Abramson said in an internal memo Monday.
All employees will get severance package offers in the coming days, but the goal is to get about 30 volunteers from the veteran, higher-paid editors on staff.
Abramson warned layoffs are again possible in the newsroom if there aren’t enough volunteers. Though there was talk among reporters about senior editors and assistant managing editors considering the buyout, an insider said it’s not likely any decisions will be made until after Christmas or early in the new year. The deadline is January 24.
The buyout offer was the third the Times has extended since 2008, when 100 newsroom positions were eliminated.
The two previous offers, in 2011 and 2009, affected the newsroom only minimally. Bigger cuts had come from the corporate and business side, which according to Abramson, reduced their budgets by 60 percent over the last several years.
In May, 50 jobs on the business side were eliminated.
In that time, the paper has kept hiring people, but mainly for jobs on the digital front, so that the newsroom is roughly as big as it was in 2003, Abramson said.
The latest round was prompted by continued losses in print and digital advertising revenue, said chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. in his own memo, attributing the need for cost-cutting to “financially challenging times.” In its third-quarter report, the Times company said circulation revenue had increased, but advertising revenues, print and digital, had taken a beating of nearly 9 percent.
“It is now impossible not to look also within the ranks of our news operations,” for staff reductions, Sulzberger wrote, who noted the business side will keep looking for other cuts.