The New York Times said Thursday it would offer buyouts to more than a dozen journalists as it seeks to cut costs in an "uncertain" economy.
"We are announcing today a limited buyout opportunity to newsroom volunteers," Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, said in an internal memo to staff obtained by AFP.
"By limited, that means we are looking at fewer than 20 buyouts across the newsroom, among volunteers who see the offer as being to their financial advantage at this time."
Abramson stressed the offer was absolutely voluntary, and applied to Guild-covered and non-union staff at the iconic US newspaper.
"No matter how many people do or do not raise their hands, no one in the newsroom -- either Guild or excluded -- will be laid off as a result of this program," she said.
The Times chief noted the company reserves the right to turn down certain volunteers if they work in areas of the newsroom "where we feel we cannot reduce our numbers."
"While we remain as loyal as ever to Times journalism and journalists, the uncertain economy has posed a continuing and difficult challenge to The Times: how to rebalance our business for the digital age while remaining steadfast to the quality journalism that defines us?" the memo said.
For non-union volunteers, the Times is offering two weeks of salary per year of service, for a maximum of one year of salary.
The buyout formula for Guild members provides three weeks of severance pay for each year worked, capped at two years of salary.
The Times memo pointed out the business side of the newspaper also was tightening its belt, mostly by eliminating vacant positions.
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