The New York Times may have returned to profitability but the lingering economic slump continues to take a toll on the company, as it announced a plan to eliminate up to 20 newsroom positions and to reduce costs in the business units of the paper.
Executive editor Jill Abramson said in a staff memo, as reported by the Times’ Brian Stelter, that there would be no layoffs and that this was a voluntary buyout that would probably affect less than 20 employees when all is said and done.
In addition to the newsroom cuts, the business side will eliminate vacant positions and offer limited buyouts in an attempt to reduce expenses and “re-balance” the paper’s operations.
The announcement of the cuts may be at attempt to temper the expectations of the company’s third-quarter earnings report which will be released on Oct 20. Those results are expected to be weak, based on remarks that the company’s chief executive Janet Robinson made last month warning of weak ad revenue.
If the economy continues to sputter, expect the Times to make additional cuts in the future in an effort to retain what profitability they have.
As this chart from BusinessInsider.com shows, while the Times is currently profitable, revenues are down sharply from 2007 and are not increasing.
The Times is certainly not the only newspaper in the country that is struggling financially, but as the third-largest circulation newspaper in the largest media market in the country it serves as a bellwether for the industry as a whole and the latest buyouts are not likely to inspire confidence in its ability to turn around the ailing print division.