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Readers Digest Cuts 280 Jobs; Publisher Forces Unpaid Furloughs Through 2010

The march of bad news continues: The Readers Digest Association is slashing 8 percent of its 3,500-member workforce — roughly 280 jobs — and is taking several other tough measures designed to get costs under control as part of a “global recession plan,” the company announced. Saying it wants to avoid additional layoffs, the company will mandate unpaid time off in both FY ’09 and ’10, and will suspend company-matching contributions to the U.S. 401(k) plans. Despite the staffing cutbacks, the company, which publishes 92 mags (including 50 editions of Reader’s Digest) globally, says it is not putting plans to issue new editorial products on hold and is continuing to seek investments and partnerships. Last year, the flagship mag’s site,, underwent a series of revamps, including the addition of more social net features. Release.