NEW YORK – The New York Times has laid off at least 18 newsroom employees in the latest round of cutbacks driven by the newspaper's financial woes.
Most of the people losing their jobs were notified Wednesday and Thursday, said Bill O'Meara, president of the New York Newspaper Guild, the union that represents the workers who were let go.
The Times said in October it would trim 100 newsroom jobs, leaving about 1,150 reporters and editors. That's still a larger newsgathering staff than any other U.S. newspaper.
Management hoped to avoid layoffs by offering buyout packages, but O'Meara said only 73 union and nonunion workers accepted.
Times spokeswoman Diane McNulty said the newspaper still expects to reach its goal of 100 newsroom job cuts by year's end. That would be nine more than what the union has been told about so far. McNulty declined to say whether layoffs among the Times' nonunion staff or attrition would enable the newspaper to hit its job-cutting target.
This is the second straight year that the Times has cut 100 newsroom employees to offset a sharp drop in advertising revenue. The newspaper's ad revenue has fallen by nearly 30 percent, or $231 million, through the first nine months of this year. That followed a decline of 12 percent, or $146 million, in ad revenue for all of 2008.
The Times has slightly softened the blow by raising its newsstand and home-delivery prices and, in recent months, boosting its online ad sales. Those gains, though, haven't been enough to cover the erosion in print advertising.
As a result, The New York Times Co. has been cutting jobs at the flagship newspaper and other publications it owns. The Times Co.'s work force at the end of September was 20 percent lower than at the same point in 2008.