BusinessWeek Promises Buyers It Will Fire 20% Of Staff

McGraw-Hill (MHP) is at it again: BusinessWeek is apparently telling its staff one thing and prospective buyers another.

Yesterday, the New York Times ran down the disastrous financial condition of BusinessWeek. In the story was a nugget that the company planned on laying off quarter of the staff in January.

Not so! cried people at BusinessWeek, who said there were numerous errors in the piece. When we asked where the layoffs news came from, the response from a BW staffer was, “Lazy reporting.”

Well, it looks like it was actually good reporting.

The Times reporter, Stephanie Clifford, has posted on the Times’ Media Decoder blog detailed information on where the cuts are expected to be made. She got this from the financial packet McGraw-Hill’s advisor, Evercore Partners is sending to potential buyers:

  • 55 of 217 editorial positions gone (one in four–ouch!)
  • 9 of 69 in sales
  • 6 of 26 in marketing
  • 8 of 33 in tech
  • 1 of 19 in circulation.
  • 6 of 57 of the rest.

That’s a total of 85 eliminations among 421 jobs – about 20 per cent – leaving 336 BusinessWeek employees.

“BusinessWeek will establish a leaner, entrepreneurial staff without affecting the brand, positioning of the franchise or revenue outlook. The eliminations of editorial staff are primarily in editorial support operations (makeup and copy desk), but also include a reduction in the number of journalists to reflect the smaller folio size of the publication. The positions eliminated in sales are primarily for sales support, but also include some consolidation of integrated sales account managers. The remaining positions eliminated are in other business support functions.”

Wonder when they’ll tell the staff?

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