The New York Times (NYT) is preparing to whack journalists for the first time in years. Two months ago, the paper offered buyouts in an attempt to induce 100 newsroom staffers to hit the road. They didn’t. So now a boatload of folks are going to get tossed out on their rears.
Excerpt of the memo from Bill Schmidt:
To the staff:
About six weeks ago Bill Keller announced that the newsroom would need to reduce its head count by about 100 jobs, as a result of the worsening financial picture facing this newspaper and the rest of our industry. To that end, we put on the table a round of buyouts, and began seeking volunteers among both our Guild and excluded employees.
The window for those voluntary buyouts closes officially next week — on Monday, April 21, for excluded members of the staff, and on that day and the next (Tuesday, April 22), for Guild applicants.
While we will not know the hard count until that time, every effort to handicap the outcome suggests that we are almost certain to fall short of the number of volunteers we will need. If that is indeed the case, as we expect it will be, we will — regrettably — be forced resort to some limited number of layoffs within the core newsroom.
While layoffs have become all too common across our industry, this is the first time the newsroom as a whole has confronted that blunt reality, and we approach it with a heavy heart. Even as people and jobs go away, the reductions will have a continuing impact across the newsroom, as we regroup and reorganize departments and even juggle some assignments to ensure we are able to continue to produce the kind of quality journalism that is our hallmark…
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