More than 100 newsroom jobs eliminated at the Times, though staff remains among largest
Newsroom staff remains at 1,200+ despite cutbacks, while efforts to overcome ad losses have at least succeeded in keeping overall revenue relatively even with 2010 levels
It may be good to remember that even after more than 100 positions have been eliminated by The New York Times, its newsroom staff will still number over 1,200. But for the 21 or so who are being informed that they are involuntarily losing their jobs before the holidays, this is still a dark day.
The Times had previously said that they were looking to cut about 100 positions from their newsroom and looked for volunteers. Fifty-seven Guild members raised their hands (plus three who were rejected), along with about 30 non-union employees. Now, it is being reported, another 21 staffers are being told that their jobs are being eliminated.
The cuts come as revenue has stabilized, with the paper actually reporting a small, but significant increase in revenue in Q3. Costs, though, have also risen as the Times added more staff. Now the newsroom staff will take a hit.
The fourth quarter will see it start with the last month of the election cycle, followed by the holiday season. In the past, this would be good news for advertising. But the NYT has pursued a paid circulation model that has seen its reader revenue climb to $206.7 million in Q3 of 2014. Circulation revenue in Q3 of 2010 was $167.8 million (for the Times alone, minus other properties which are now gone).
The comparisons for advertising, though show where revenue has been lost: Q3 2014 revenue was $137.9 million, while it was $166.1 million in 2010.
That the NYT has been mostly revenue neutral is a tribute to an aggressive paywall strategy that has dramatically grown digital subscriptions. In the September publisher’s statement, the Times was able to report more digital (non-replica) subscribers than print (the 2010 statement does not mention digital at all).
The NYT’s transformation has been remarkable, even if financially it feels like standing in place. In the newspaper business, that is considered success.