Today is D-Day for the staff buyouts at the New York Times.
The Business Insider has learned that four prominent reporters from the Business Section are planning on accepting the buyout offers. They are:
- Louis Uchitelle, who has covered economics for the NYT since 1987. Ironically, three years ago he was the author of “The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences.”
- Geraldine Fabrikant, who joined the NYT in 1985, has six publishers awards and a Loeb Award. She previously worked at Business Week
- Alex Berenson, who has been a reporter at The Times since 1999. He reported from Iraq in 2003 and 2004. He has written 3 spy novels. We hear he plans to become a full time novelist while still making occasional contributions to the Times.
- Jonathan Glater, who joined The Times in September 2000 after a stint as a Wall Street lawyer. He is married to Jennifer M. Chacón, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis. Insiders say he had already given up his plans to move to New York because his wife had gotten tenure at the law school.
Two other staff members, described as “support staff” by an insider, have also taken the buyout.
With just a handful of employees taking the buyout, it appears that the Times will fall far short of its goal of buying out 100 employees. As Bill Keller noted, the Times will then be forced to begin layoffs. In a memo to employees, Keller said that layoffs could begin as early as next week.
Keller explained to employees that the total cuts at the Times are intended to bring staffing levels back to 2001 levels. But the Times now has a much larger web staff than it did eight years ago, which means it intends to get by with a slimmer staff in many legacy aspects of its business.
More cuts are likely. Targets include the Metro desk, which has a relatively large stuff compared to many other sections. Some staffers are predicting layoffs will happen either Dec. 14 or 17.
“This is not the last round of layoffs. This is the first round. … Round two is next year,” said a source who noted that more cuts are virtually a guarantee.
A spokesperson for the Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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