New York Times to Fire 21 Union Employees Starting Today, Union Says

Buyouts Didn't Achieve Enough Savings to Avoid Layoffs

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Credit: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

The New York Times will fire 21 union employees starting today, according to the union, exceeding the total number of job cuts the newspaper publisher had originally said was needed to reduce costs.

New York Times Co. had accepted the buyout applications of 57 union employees and almost 30 non-union workers, the New York Times unit of the Newspaper Guild of New York said in a statement on its website. The union said it didn't know how many non-union employees may be fired.

As it tries to cope with a shift to a more digital newsroom, the publication had said there would be forced cuts if about 100 jobs couldn't be eliminated through buyouts. That depended, in part, on the salaries of those who applied for the buyouts by the Dec. 1 deadline. Journalists including advertising columnist Stuart Elliott, TV reporter Bill Carter, D.C. reporter Edward Wyatt and financial correspondent Floyd Norris were among the high-profile list of employees to opt for the buyouts.

In a note to staff today, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet called the forced cuts "the end of a painful period for the newsroom."

"We did not make the number we needed to deal with our newsroom budget cuts," Mr. Baquet wrote. "So we are turning to a limited number of layoffs. This process will end this week. We will be saying farewell to close and valued colleagues, which is difficult for all of us."

Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for Times Co., declined to comment.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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