Cost-cutting at NY Times, reorganization at WPost
The New York Times unveiled plans on Thursday to eliminate several weekly sections of the newspaper in the latest cost-cutting move at the prestigious but financially troubled daily.
The Washington Post, meanwhile, announced a sweeping editorial reorganization at the newspaper and details of its plan to merge its currently separate print and online operations into a single newsroom.
The Times said it was doing away with several weekly sections "in a bid to save millions of dollars" in ink, paper and freelance reporter costs, absorbing them into other parts of the newspaper.
On the chopping board are the "Escapes" travel section in Friday editions, the regular fashion layout in The New York Times Magazine and regional weekly sections for surrounding areas such as New Jersey, the Times said.
In a memorandum to employees, Times executive editor Bill Keller said he hoped the latest moves, which come on top of a five percent pay cut earlier this year, would eliminate the need for further reductions.
"The hope and expectation remain that the pay cuts and the spending cuts outlined above will get us through the year without the need for other significant reductions," Keller said.
At the Washington Post, executive editor Marcus Brauchli unveiled a number of personnel changes and the creation of a "Universal News Desk" that will edit stories for both the print and online editions of the newspaper.
Brauchli, in a memo to the staff, said the reorganization was designed to "create new reporting groups, streamline editing desks and anticipate the impending integration of our print and digital news operations."
"We want to empower journalists and encourage them to work across departments and platforms," he said.
"A single editor ultimately ought to be able to oversee all versions of a story, whether it appears in print, online or on a BlackBerry or iPhone."
Like other US newspapers, the Times and the Post have been grappling with a steep drop in print advertising revenue, steadily declining circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.
Earlier this month, the Times threatened to shut down the Boston Globe, which was purchased by the Times Co. for 1.1 billion dollars in 1993, unless unions at the daily agree to pay cuts and other cost-saving measures.
The Times Co. also recently completed a sale-leaseback deal for part of its Manhattan headquarters in a move aimed at raising cash to pay down its debt and received a 250-million-dollar loan from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.
(c) 2009 AFP