NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Two of the most respected US newspaper publishers, The Washington Post Co and The New York Times Co, are embarking on new cost cuts in the face of dramatic declines in advertising revenue.
The Times said it laid off 100 workers and is cutting non-union salaries. It is also asking unionized employees to accept similar concessions to avoid layoffs in the newsroom.
The Post is offering a new round of buyouts to newsroom, production and circulation employees, and said it could not rule out laying off staff.
“This was a very difficult decision to make,” said a memo signed by Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr and Chief Executive Janet Robinson. “The environment we are in is the toughest we have seen in our years in business.”
The moves come as a host of other U.S. newspaper publishers have reduced staff, declared bankruptcy or shuttered once-vaunted newspapers, as readers seek news online and elsewhere and as the recession crimps advertising spending.
Non-union employees at the New York Times and the Boston Globe would get a 5 percent pay cut for nine months, along with 10 days off. At other units, including the company’s Worcester, Massachusetts, newspaper, the amounts would be a 2.5 percent pay cut and five days off.
The Times has laid off workers before, including 500 at a newspaper and magazine distribution unit that it closed. It also held buyouts in its newsroom last year and laid off a small number of employees there.