After years of cutting jobs on the business side of the newspaper, The New York Times announced in a memo from executive editor Jill Abramson that it needs to start trimming back the newsroom operations, and is looking for 30 non-union newsroom managers to take a voluntary buyout:
There is no getting around the hard news that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced.
If the Times doesn’t find enough volunteers, then it will fire enough people until it reaches its goal.
The Times has been hit hard, like most newspapers, from a prolonged advertising slump. That, combined with dwindling circulation revenue, has turned a once profitable business into one that is struggling to survive in the digital age.
In the last quarter, the paper’s print advertising revenue was down 10.9 percent and is unlikely to get much better, according to the Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. He said in a statement about the buyouts that “the advertising climate remains volatile and we don’t see this changing in the near future.”
Digital revenue was supposed to save not just the Times but the entire newspaper industry, but even that was down at the Times. According to a new study, digital revenues at newspapers are not even close to replacing the lost print revenue.
Newsroom staffers at the Times should be concerned about their future, because with advertising revenues in a free fall, it all but guarantees further cutbacks in the near future.