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New York Times Cutting 100 Newsroom Jobs; 7.5 Percent Of Total

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A day after the Tribune Co. announced job cuts both in and out of the newsroom, the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) is planning to eliminate 100 newsroom jobs through attrition, buyouts and possibly layoffs, according to NYT itself. The cuts account for 7.5 percent of the newsroom’s 1332 employees. The cuts were announced by executive editor Bill Keller, who described layoffs as a last resort that may be required if the company doesn’t get enough people to accept buyouts. In a memo, Keller acknowledged that the “low-hanging fruit” of easy cuts is gone and the move would have an impact on the company’s journalistic output. In November, the company announced plans to eliminate a dozen newsroom jobs, although none were reporting positions.

The announcement comes as the company is under pressure from activist investors pushing for aggressive changes. Last Friday, NYTCo top brass met with Scott Galloway and on Tuesday, the company announced a board shakeup to bring in more digital and deals experience.

The New York Observer relays a first-hand account of the meeting with Keller when the cuts were announced. Apparently, in an attempt to reduce the pain, there is talk of diverting some money set aside for editor bonuses to saving jobs. Perhaps the most oddly revealing news is that during the Q&A, there was just one question about the cuts: “Instead, there were questions about why the fourth-floor was so cold and why stairwells in the building were still inaccessible.”