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N.Y. Times to cut 100 newsroom jobs

Associated Press / October 20, 2009

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NEW YORK - The New York Times said yesterday it will cut 100 newsroom jobs and an unspecified number elsewhere amid industrywide declines in advertising revenue.

The Times will offer voluntary buyouts at first but will resort to layoffs if it cannot meet the targets. “I hope that won’t happen, but it might,’’ executive editor Bill Keller wrote in a memo to staff.

The Times, flagship of The New York Times Co., which also owns The Boston Globe, cut its newsroom workforce by 100 positions last year mostly through buyouts.

Even with the latest cuts, amounting to 8 percent of the newsroom staff, the Times has the largest newsgathering staff of any US newspaper. The cuts would leave the paper with about 1,150 reporters and editors.

The Times already trimmed about 100 positions from its business operations this spring and plans additional cuts. The newspaper would not say how many. The business side now employs about 1,850.

Newspapers have been seeing sharp declines in ad revenue from their printed editions, and Web advertising hasn’t grown fast enough to make up the difference.

American newsrooms shed some 5,900 jobs just last year, according to the American Society of News Editors. At the Times, both union and nonunion workers took a 5 percent pay cut this spring as the newspaper tried to avoid cutting more jobs.

“They’re really starting to cut into the newsroom now, which is unfortunate,’’ said Bill O’Meara, head of the New York Newspaper Guild, the newspaper’s largest union. “We hope all this can be achieved on a voluntary basis.’’