New York Times to cut 100 newsroom jobs; stock jumps

The New York Times said on Wednesday that it would cut jobs to lower costs and invest the savings in its 'digital future' as advertising revenue from its print business dwindles. New York Times stock rose 7 percent on the news. 

Gary Hershorn/Reuters/File
A window washer cleans the windows above the front door of the New York Times building in New York. The New York Times Co said Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 that it plans to cut jobs to lower costs and invest the savings in its 'digital future.' REUTERS/Gary Hershorn/Files

 The New York Times Co said on Wednesday it would cut jobs to lower costs and invest the savings in its "digital future" as advertising revenue from its print business dwindles, sending the company's shares up 7 percent.

The company did not specify which departments would be affected by the job cuts, but said it would exclude some critical areas such as digital technology and core products.

"The reduction in positions will vary across the company," the publisher said in a regulatory filing.

Buyouts will be offered to senior managers in the print, digital and advertising divisions, the company said.

"In a letter to the company this morning, Arthur and Mark described the financial conditions that are forcing us to make cuts across the company," Times executive editor Dean Baquet said in a letter to staffers, obtained by Poynter. "While there are promising signs in digital advertising and digital subscriptions, the print business remains under pressure. And our new products are not achieving the business success we expected, even though they are journalistic sensations."

"So, regrettably, we are going to have to reduce costs in the newsroom," he continued. "The masthead and I will be looking for every possible way to do this without harming our stunning report. I will use this as an opportunity to seriously reconsider some of what we do — from the number of sections we produce to the amount we spend on freelance content.

But there is no getting around the hard fact that the newsroom will have to lose 100 jobs. We hope to meet this number through voluntary buyouts. But if we don’t get there we will be forced to do layoffs.

The buyout packages are generous especially for people with decades of service."

The New York Times will invest heavily in mobile, audience development, digital product portfolio, advertising and targeted areas of print over the coming months, it said.

Digital advertising revenue is expected to rise by about 16 percent in the current quarter, driven by smartphones and video, but overall advertising revenue is expected to stay flat, the publisher said.

Company executives could not be immediately reached for comment.

The company's second-quarter revenue fell as print advertising revenue declined. It said print advertising revenue was expected to fall further.

"Print advertising is notoriously volatile and the third quarter was no exception," the New York Times said on Wednesday.

The company's shares were trading at $12 on Wednesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

Up to Tuesday's close, the stock had fallen nearly 30 percent this year. (Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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