UPDATE 2-New York Times to cut 100 newsroom jobs

Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:45pm EDT

* Times will layoff if it does not get enough buyouts

* Times shares rise 5.1 percent on NYSE (Adds details of buyout terms, background)

By Robert MacMillan

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The New York Times (NYT.N) said on Monday it would cut 100 newsroom jobs through buyouts or layoffs as it tries to counter lost advertising revenue.

"Let me cut to the chase: We have been told to reduce the newsroom by 100 positions between now and the end of the year." Times Executive Editor Bill Keller told employees in a memo obtained by Reuters.

This is the second time in little more than a year that the Times has sought to reduce its newsroom staff. In 2008, the newspaper cut 100 newsroom jobs.

Earlier this year, it cut salaries by 5 percent.

"When we took our 5 percent pay cuts, it was in the hope that this would fend off the need for more staff cuts this year," Keller wrote in the memo. "But I accept that if it's going to happen, it should be done quickly. We will get through this and move on."

The newspaper has 1,250 editorial employees, down from 1,330, the Times reported on its website. It said no other U.S. newspaper has more than about 750 journalists.

The New York Times Co, which owns the newspaper, plans to report third-quarter results on Thursday. The company has experienced declines in advertising and mounting debt that have forced it to cut costs and sell assets.

Many publishers, including USA Today publisher Gannett Co Inc (GCI.N), which reported its quarterly results on Monday, have had the same problems.

Last week, the Times stopped trying to sell The Boston Globe. It had threatened to close that newspaper unless its unions agreed to cut costs. It also has been trying to sell its stake in the company that owns the Boston Red Sox professional baseball team.

BUYOUT BUY-IN

Many staffers who are union members would get three weeks pay for each year of service if they take a buyout, said Bill O'Meara, president of the New York Newspaper Guild. At most, employees would get two years of pay and extended medical insurance coverage, he said.

Nonunion staff would likely get two weeks pay for each year of service, up to one year's pay, New York Times spokeswoman Diane McNulty said in an e-mailed response to questions about the buyouts.

Earlier this year, the union agreed to the 5 percent pay cut in the hope that the newspaper would offer buyouts instead of layoffs if it had to cut more costs, O'Meara said.

He said the buyouts would not reflect the 5 percent cut.

"It's a great paper, but it's not immune to many of the same forces that are hitting newspapers nationwide," O'Meara said. (Reporting by Robert MacMillan, editing by Leslie Gevirtz, Toni Reinhold)