The New York Times said on Monday that it will offer buyouts to some of its newsroom staff, and may lay journalists off if not enough people accept the severance package.
Writing to staff, publisher Arthur Sulzberger said that he had asked top editors within the paper to “identify significant cost savings.” He wrote that “the advertising climate remains volatile and we don’t see this changing in the near future.”
The paper reported that the company is offering 30 buyouts to non-union newsroom managers.
“There is no getting around the hard news that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced,” editor Jill Abramson wrote in her own memo, adding, “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.”
The Times has gone through rounds of buyouts before, shedding 100 employees in 2008 and a further 20 in 2011. The paper recently went through a bruising round of contract negotiations with its unionized staff.
Below, read Sulzberger’s memo to Times staffers, as obtained by The Huffington Post:
Dear Colleagues,As we all know, these are financially challenging times. While our digital subscription plan has been successful, the advertising climate remains volatile and we don’t see this changing in the near future. Given this, I have asked Scott, Jill and Andy to identify significant cost savings – including buyouts – throughout The New York Times Media Group.
While we will continue to invest where needed to ensure our role as a global leader in news and information, we must make some difficult decisions to lower our costs. Our business-side colleagues will continue their efforts to find staff reductions and other efficiencies, but it is now impossible not to look also within the ranks of our news operations.
None of this is easy in these difficult times. Thank you all for your courage, your talent and your commitment to fulfilling our mission. You will be hearing more from your managers.