Associated Press, one of the largest news organizations worldwide, is planning to reduce its workforce by about 10 percent of its workforce in 2009, reports Reuters, citing an internal “town-hall” meeting at the company. AP employs about 3,000 journalists, and a total of about 4,100 people worldwide, which means the reduction would be about 400 employees. According to an AP statement: “The Associated Press, like virtually every business in the world, is defining strategies for operating in these complex and difficult financial times. All areas and ways of doing business are being reviewed. The AP, which recently instituted a strategic hiring freeze, may need to reduce staff over the next year. If so, it hopes to achieve much of the reduction through attrition.”
These cuts come at a time when AP is restructuring the company, and has also revised its rates after protest from its member newspapers. The co-op, facing defections from members large and small, announced in October that is planned to cut member assessments by another $9 million next year, for a total of nearly $30 million, and would start an examination of its member structure that could result in a complete overhaul. These cuts are likely a result from that overhaul.
Lots more about AP, the controversies and rate changes here in our special section.