As promised, The Associated Press will make good on its plan to trim 10 per cent of its payroll by the end of the year in an increasingly somber newsroom where staffers complain that they’re in the dark about the planned cuts.
According to multiple sources within the AP, the looming threat of job loss is contributing to an anxious workplace.
Says a longtime reporter, who asked not to be identified: “Everybody is on edge. The higher-ups aren’t saying anything. … Nobody knows if they’ll have a job by the holidays.”
In the New York city bureau, where the once-booming national desk is virtually empty due to regionalization of edit staff, the brass further trimmed the head count — and thus, the budget — with a voluntary retirement program and layoffs on the editorial and administration sides. (Full disclosure: This writer was one of two staffers recently laid off in AP’s entertainment department.)
The latest round of layoffs, which hit two weeks ago, affected admin staffers, leaving the AP with a single receptionist at headquarters.
Now this, via Politico’s Michael Calderone:
Early estimates put the 10 per cent pay roll cut at roughly 400 staffers. But it’s unclear how many would be cut, given that the targeted reduction is in payroll and not headcount. However, if more staffers with higher salaries are selected—most likely, those with more seniority—that number of layoffs would be less. Right now, the AP has about 4,000 total employees, with roughly 3,000 of them in news.
Not surprisingly, there’s uncertainty among staff since hard numbers haven’t been announced in the bureaus. In the AP’s Washington bureau, only a handful of staffers took the buyout over the summer—one being senior White House photographer Ron Edmonds.
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