New York Times to Offer Employee Buyouts Amid Digital Shift

  • Executives don’t rule out the possibility of future job cuts
  • Publisher cites ‘tough decisions about what to stop doing’

The New York Times will offer buyouts to members of its newsroom and several business departments later this month as the publisher cuts costs to invest more in increasing its digital audience.

The Times will send buyout packages to eligible employees on May 31, according to an internal memo released Wednesday. It didn’t say how many buyouts would be accepted. Executive editor Dean Baquet said last week that the economic realities of the publishing industry make it difficult for the Times to support a newsroom of its current size. The Times, which has 1,300 newsroom workers, went through a series of buyouts and layoffs at the end of 2014.

“While we are not announcing layoffs today, our need to reduce costs means that we cannot rule them out in the future,” according to the memo.

The Times has focused on increasing digital revenue as print readership and advertising decline. The newspaper aims to double its online sales in the next four years by attracting more young readers and signing up paid online subscribers overseas. As part of that effort, the company is investing $50 million over the next three years to expand its digital audience around the world.

While the Times has made several recent online investments, “we will also need to make tough decisions about what to stop doing,” according to the staff memo, which was signed by the paper’s top executives on behalf of its executive committee.

“Wherever we can reduce costs without damaging the values, and value, of Times journalism, we will do so,” the executives wrote.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.