Time magazine's regular 10 a.m. meeting has been canceled, for example, with a likely all-hands meeting around noon. Two top editors have also been dispatched to Los Angeles and Chicago to describe today's moves to bureau staffers in person.
Layoffs are being spread across magazines and departments, so many of Time Inc.'s 12,000 employees have been anticipating today's events with dread. A public statement with final details are expected around midday.
"These layoffs are part of the necessary restructuring of our business," a Time Inc. spokeswoman said, "as we continue to transform into a multiplatform publisher and are focused on increasing efficiencies and allowing for closer collaboration between our digital and print businesses."
Ongoing efficiency drive
The cuts are part of an intensive and ongoing efficiency drive at the company, which as part of Time Warner feels pressure from Wall Street to show newfound growth year after year. The media landscape is changing around it at the same time, too, making digital investment a priority and uncertainty a guarantee.
Under Chairman-CEO Ann S. Moore, the company has sought efficiency and streamlined decision making in a variety of ways, including the staff reductions that came with a reorganization in December 2005. That first round of layoffs affected 105 people including veterans like Jack Haire, exec VP-corporate sales and marketing group; Eileen Naughton, president, the Time group; and Richard Atkinson, exec VP-news and information group.
Time Inc. eliminated another 100 or so jobs last February, mostly from the editorial side, then 250 more in April, mostly from the business side. It closed the print edition of Teen People in July; it put 18 magazines with 560 total employees up for sale in September. Last month, it axed 27 mid-level and junior employees from its consumer marketing division.
Because today's cuts again affect many editorial posts, critics will probably say Time Inc. is sacrificing editorial quality in pursuit of Wall Street's favor. Ms. Moore will say the company is continuing the processes of increasing efficiency and investing in high-growth areas.