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October 23, 2009
More Newsroom Cuts Underline Media Shift

Underlining the decline in print media fortunes, The New York Times has announced another round of newsroom job cuts, either by buyouts, or if 100 staffers don't accept them, by layoffs. This latest round of cutbacks follows one in 2008, when 100 other newsroom jobs were eliminated. The current winnowing is to be completed by year-end.

Much deeper cuts have been made in non-newsroom departments at the daily newspaper.

In a note to the news staff, Bill Keller, The New York Times' executive editor, wrote:
"As before, if we do not reach 100 positions through buyouts, we will be forced to go to layoffs. I hope that won't happen, but it might."

"I won't pretend that these staff cuts will not add to the burdens of journalists whose responsibilities have grown faster than their compensation," he added. "Like you, I yearn for the day when we can do our jobs without looking over our shoulders for economic thunderstorms."

Such balmy days likely won't return to newspapers as we know them. Advertising continues heading to the Web, with display advertising, the lifeblood of newspapers, going out of vogue. David Carr addressess this situation in a mournful blog post, "The Week the Future Became Present Tense," on The New York Times' Media Decoder blog.

As FlackMe has noted, newspaper job cuts are part of a tidal shift toward new media that requires a creative response from PR people who want to keep their jobs. Keep on with it, folks.

Then came the word Fortune magazine is dropping from 25 to 18 issues a year.

Photo by Fred R. Conrad of The New York Times



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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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