Friday, April 25, 2008

Quagmire at the New York Times: Bloodbath Coming

Looks like a bloodbath is imminent.

Of course, they'll blame, in nor particular order, the economy, Bush, cost of paper, plummeting ad revenue and the ignorance of the great unwashed for not reading them.

Everything under the sun except for their condescending, elitist snobbery and reactionary leftwing reportage.
THE New York Times' news room is bracing for a bloodbath in the next 10 days.

The word from inside is that approximately 50 unionized journalists have accepted the buyout proposal, and only another 20 non-union editorial employees have gotten on board.

That means the ax could fall on as many as 30 editorial people in the company's first-ever mass firing of journalists in its 156-year history.

Executive Editor William Keller had said originally that he was looking to cut 100 people from the Times staff in response to the dismal newspaper advertising environment.

But then a week ago Assistant Managing Editor William Schmidt issued a memo saying it was almost certain that the company would be forced to make involuntary cuts, and he urged more volunteers to come forward.

The plea apparently fell on deaf ears.

With just 70 people stepping forward for buyouts, it is very likely that 30 newsroom staffers will be forced out in coming days.

"We're bracing for it," said one insider with some knowledge of the developments. "There's a lot of anxiety."

With competitive threats looming from The Wall Street Journal, which like The Post is owned by News Corp., sources said the business desk and national desk will be spared and will absorb only token cuts.
Apparently dismissing Bill Keller isn't on the horizon.

To put it into a sports analogy, when a team continues to lose and there's no prospect for a turnaround on the horizon, it's usually the coach and general manager who get the ax.

Why Keller and Schmidt are being spared the ax remains a mystery.

Update: Thanks to Ace for the link. Thanks also to Siter Toldjah!

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