NY Times cuts newsroom again, ahead of schedule

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The New York Times Co. (NYT) assured its unionized employees in September that the voluntary 5 percent paycut they had agreed to this year would be temporary; their former salaries will be restored on January 1. Now we know where the money to do that will come from.

The Times announced Monday that it will eliminate 100 newsroom positions by the end of this year. Employees will receive buyout offers this week, and will have until early December to decide whether to apply for one. If the paper can't reach the magic number purely through buyouts, it will have to resort to layoffs, as it did in its last round of newsroom cuts in early 2008, which reduced the newsroom headcount from more than 1,330 to about 1,250.
When Times staffers were presented in March with plans for a 5 percent companywide pay cut, paired with a mandatory two-week furlough, management positioned it as a way to improve the paper's balance sheet without resorting to another batch of job eliminations. Executive editor Bill Keller didn't gloss over that fact when breaking the bad news to his staff. "I accept that if it's going to happen, it should be done quickly," he said in his memo. "We will get through this and move on."

The Times Co. will announce its third-quarter earnings on Thursday.
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