Red Ink: NYT Will Cut 100 Newsroom Positions

The New York Times will cut 100 positions from its newsroom by the end of the year, equaling roughly 8% of the newsroom staff, according to executive editor Bill Keller, who announced the cutbacks in an internal memo to staff on Monday.

This is a serious blow for the venerable newspaper, which prides itself on high-quality reporting and has made a point of protecting its newsroom as other big publishers wielded the ax over the last decade.

The paper's management hopes to accomplish most of the reduction through voluntary buyouts; employees will have until early December to decide whether to accept the offers. However, Keller warned, "as before, if we do not reach 100 positions through buyouts, we will be forced to go to layoffs."

Acknowledging that these cuts would increase the workload of the remaining journalists, Keller alluded to strategies to lessen the growing burden, including "re-engineering some of our copy flow."

Keller added that cutbacks are also coming in the editorial and op-ed division, as well as on the business side. The latest round of cuts further reduces the size of the newsroom, which lost 100 positions in the first half of 2008.

Earlier this year, the newspaper also laid off 100 employees of its business operations division. A gradual reduction has also been accomplished through attrition. The New York Times Co. instituted a 5% pay cut earlier this year, and obtained significant concessions from unions at The Boston Globe amid threats to sell the newspaper.

At the end of 2008, NYTCO's payroll totaled 9,346 full-time employees. Subtracting the 200 positions cut this year leaves a current total of 9,146 -- down 33.7% from 13,800 in 2000.

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