New York Times Rises as Deadline for 100 Buyouts Nears

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New York Times Co. rose the most in two months as a deadline approaches for employees to accept buyouts, helping the newspaper publisher trim costs.

The cutoff for employees to apply for the buyout is 5 p.m. New York time today, according to Anthony Napoli, the local newspaper guild representative for Times employees. The company has said there will be forced cuts if 100 jobs can’t be eliminated through voluntary buyouts. That’s about 7.5 percent of the newsroom staff, the Times has reported. The shares rose 6.9 percent to $13.56 at the close today, the biggest gain since Oct. 1 when the buyouts were first announced.

Like many newspapers, the Times is trying transform itself into a digital newsroom as more readers get their news from the Internet and as print circulation and advertising decline. The publisher said in a regulatory filing in October that the staff cuts “are necessary to control our costs and to allow us to continue to invest in the digital future of The New York Times.”

“They’re raising prices to offset the decline in advertising, but that can only go so far,” said Ed Atorino, a New York-based analyst at Benchmark Co. The amount of staff leaving may be a “surprisingly big number,” he said.

“They are going to follow through and reduce the staff which will save some money in the fourth quarter,” Atorino said. In October, the company projected that ad sales will drop by a mid-single-digit rate in the fourth quarter.

Several high-profile Times journalists have accepted the buyouts so far, including veteran TV reporter Bill Carter, the Huffington Post reported earlier today.

A representative for Times Co. didn’t immediately return a request for comment.