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New York Times Co. to cut staff

The publishing company unveils a companywide staff reduction plan that will include further layoffs in its online division, although the total number of cutbacks has not yet been decided.

The New York Times Co. on Thursday unveiled a companywide staff reduction plan that will include further layoffs in its online division, although the total number of cutbacks have not yet been decided.

The company, which is scheduled to report earnings Monday, said the measures aim to reduce costs in the face of an industrywide slump in advertising sales. The plan will involve both voluntary reductions as well as layoffs, according to a company representative, who said more details likely will be announced next week.

Also on Thursday, Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, said it will lay off 202 people, or 2 percent of its staff, and eliminate 300 open positions.

The layoffs offer the latest indication that the pullback in the advertising market that struck the dot-com economy months ago is widening to affect traditional media companies.

The New York Times Co. employs about 14,000 people, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The New York Times Digital, its online division, currently has about 325 staffers, down from 450 at the end of 2000, including the elimination of 69 jobs in January.

The publishing company, which owns 15 newspapers including The New York Times and The Boston Globe, earned a net income of $397 million on $3.4 billion in sales in 2000.

The Times Digital posted an operating loss of $70 million last year, increasing from $14 million in 1999 on annual revenues that grew from $43.7 million to $66.6 million. Advertising accounted for two-thirds of sales in 2000.

The company said the voluntary staff reduction program would take two to three months to complete.