The New York Times public editor, Clark Hoyt, takes a look at the changes coming to the paper, today, including where the paper will cut staff, and how it will address charging on the web.
According to Hoyt’s story, executive editor Bill Keller will try to trim, rather than slash, expenses when the paper removes 100 staffers. He wants to keep national and international bureaus. He won’t do anything radical like remove the sports section.
However, he says he’ll look at the 70 blogs on the Web site, and see if any should be dropped. Maybe he can look at their pageviews for that. Keller will also look at the editing process and figure out if they need as many editors in the era of a flowing news cycle as they did in the past.
As for the paywall we’ve all heard about the NYT mulling? It’s coming soon:
Keller said: “It’s a much tougher, more complicated decision than it seems to all the armchair experts. There is no clear consensus on the right way to go.” At stake are millions of dollars from online advertisers who want the largest possible number of readers. Putting up any kind of pay wall has the potential to drive away readers and some of those dollars.
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, said the newsroom cuts and a decision about charging online readers are entirely separate issues. The cuts are “meant to address the immediate, short-term realities of our current economic situation.” Charging for online content, he said, is a strategic issue that “would have little or no impact on our financial results in the short term, but rather position us differently for long-term growth.”
Stay tuned. Keller said his guess is, “We’re within weeks of a decision.”