Monday, November 3, 2008

Seattle Times, half-owned by McClatchy, to cut 130 to 150 positions

The axe is swinging at the Seattle Times.
The Seattle Times Co. announced more cutbacks today, including a reduction of 130 to 150 staff positions through a combination of buyouts and layoffs.

The reduction amounts to just under 10 percent of the remaining work force and comes seven months after a similar round of cutbacks.

In a memo to staff, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen and company President Carolyn Kelly blamed the moves on industry changes and the worldwide financial crisis. They said the company needs to adjust to structural changes that have reduced advertising revenue in all media. Even the growth of online revenue — previously a bright spot for the company — has stalled during the worldwide economic slowdown, Blethen and Kelly wrote.

The company hinted there might be more cutbacks to come: "As the 2009 budgeting process continues, there will be additional expense reductions, which may include additional layoffs," the memo stated.

"As difficult as these operating decisions are, it is important to remember we have been here for 112 years, weathering many ups and downs, and these budget actions are necessary to respond to the current economic conditions and to position our newspaper and online operations for many more years of success and community service," wrote Blethen and Kelly.

The memo did not specify other ways in which the company intended to reduce expenses. In an e-mail, Times spokeswoman Corey Digiacinto said the company won't be able to confirm any specifics until individual departments have been notified.

The Seattle Times raised its price from 50 cents to 75 cents per copy in September.
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McClatchy slashes the book value of "Classified Ventures" and its share of Seattle Times
Seattle Times cuts 125 jobs

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