NY Times to Slash 100 Newsroom Jobs, After Paying Chief $5 Million

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The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) announced Wednesday that it will cut 100 newsroom jobs and a smaller number of jobs on the business side of the newspaper as the paper seeks to lower costs to meet declining revenues from its print advertising and digital advertising fails to make up the difference. The cuts will be made through buyout offers, or failing to get enough takers, forced layoffs.

The Times’s chairman and publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., took home $5.3 million in total compensation last year, and president and CEO Mark Thompson was paid $4.58 million. Thompson joined the Times in November 2012 and was paid nearly $3.3 million that year, mostly in a cash bonus and stock and option awards. Sulzberger has averaged more than $6 million in compensation in each of the past three years.

In a letter to the staff, the Times’ new executive editor Dean Baquet said he expects to report digital ad growth of 16% for the quarter that closed on Sunday. Regarding print advertising he said:

Print advertising is notoriously volatile and the third quarter was no exception, with weakness in July and August followed by a more robust September. The combination of that September rally and the marked growth on the digital side means that instead of the “mid-single digit decline” we predicted, total company-wide advertising revenue is expected to be roughly flat in the quarter.

Digital subscribers grew by more than 40,000 during the third quarter, the largest number since 2012. The growth was offset by rising operating costs, and profitability for the third quarter and the full fiscal year are still expected be below last year’s levels.

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Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME), which recently spun out of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), cut about 500 people ahead of its June initial public offering, and it is currently in a dispute with the Newspaper Guild, which represents about 200 full- and part-time editorial staff and another 100 temporary employees at the company’s magazines. According to the Guild, Time wants to outsource up to 60 of the full-time jobs and up to 100 of the temporary jobs.

McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI) operates 30 daily newspapers in the United States and owns stakes in digital assets like CareerBuilder and HomeFinder.com. The company announced Wednesday that it closed the sale of its 25.6% stake in Classified Ventures to Gannet Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI). Other partners involved in the sale of all Classified Ventures’ assets were Tribune Media, Graham Holdings and A.H. Belo Corp. (NYSE: AHC). The company cut 1,400 newspaper jobs in 2008, including some more than 300 newsroom jobs.

Gannett cut 60 to 70 jobs recently in newsroom and business operations as ad revenues fell by nearly 6%.

The Times plans to invest heavily in mobile and digital technology, which gives a reprieve from the company’s digital and core products groups. The company will eliminate its NYT Now offering from the Web, but keep it as a smartphone app. The NYT Opinion app will be discontinued.

Shares of the Times’s stock were up about 9% Wednesday, at $12.25 in a 52-week range of $11.22 to $17.37.

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