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NY Times to cut 100 journalists' jobs

NEW YORK, USA: The New York Times plans to cut 100 newsroom jobs in the latest move by the prestigious daily to adapt to industry upheaval and trim its costs.
At least 100 journalists will lose their jobs at the New York Times as it struggles to reduce costs amid falling advertising revenue and competition from online news publications. Image: NY Times
"The job losses are necessary to control our costs and to allow us to continue to invest in the digital future of The New York Times, but we know that they will be painful both for the individuals affected and for their colleagues," according to a note to employees cited by the newspaper itself.

The note from Publisher Arthur Sulzberger and Chief Executive Mark Thompson also said that a mobile app dedicated to opinion content was shutting down because it lacked enough subscribers to continue operating.

The job cuts represent around 7.5% of the newsroom staff of 1,330 - which according to the newspaper is a record high. The Times has been adding jobs over the past year for online and video news initiatives.

The Times will be offering severance packages to journalists and will resort to layoffs if it cannot get enough people to leave voluntarily.

The daily has been struggling to remain profitable in recent years and has been pushing harder to emphasise its digital content as print subscriptions decline. The Times has also been selling off "non-core" assets including the Boston Globe newspaper and websites unrelated to its news operations.

Digital challenge

Times Executive Editor Dean Bacquet says the changes must be used to reassess the content of the newspaper and define its core objectives. Image: Time
But even as the Times shifts its focus, it is being challenged by a new breed of all-digital news operations with lower costs.

Executive Editor Dean Baquet, in a separate note to the staff said: "We must use the opportunity to seriously reconsider some of what we do, from the number of sections we produce to the amount we spend on freelance content."

The news comes following a tumultuous period which saw the dismissal of Executive Editor Jill Abramson, who was replaced by Baquet.

Abramson's dismissal in May unleashed a polemic in the media amid speculation that she was fired for complaining about being paid less than her male counterparts - an allegation refuted by the company.

In the most recent quarter, the New York Times Co. reported a sharp drop in profits as lower advertising revenues offset gains in digital subscriptions.

Net profit for the second quarter fell to $9.2m from $20.1m in the same period a year ago. Total revenues fell slightly to $389m, with circulation revenues up 1.4% and advertising revenues down 4.1%.

The bottom line was hurt by higher operating costs, which the company attributed to increased investments in boosting the digital profile of the newspaper.

Digital advertising revenues were up 3.4% but that failed to offset a 6.6% overall drop in print advertising revenue.

Source: AFP via I-Net Bridge
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