Wednesday, October 28, 2009

et tu, new york times?

Jerry Seinfeld once famously quipped: "Isn't it amazing that everything that happens on a given day just fits the pages of the New York Times?"

Does that mean, in Seinfeld-speak, that come December less and less will be going on? At first fear, yeah. But a quick look at some numbers makes you think, well, maybe not.

We'll start with the backstory. According to a piece in the New York Observer last week, the gray lady is cutting 100 jobs by December 7:

It's the first time the Times has had to cut jobs since 2008, when they also cut 100 jobs. Earlier this year, reporters and editors voted to cut their salaries, in the hope that newsroom cuts could be avoided. Mr. Keller said today's decision "is happening sooner than anyone anticipated."

The paper has a newsroom of approximately 1,250 people.

Buyouts are the first option, and if they don't reach 100 volunteers, the paper will resort to layoffs.

You can read a copy of the letter editor Bill Keller sent to his staff via the link above. The Observer gets the goods.

As it did today, getting its hands on a copy of the entire 61-page buy-out package, which supplies names, numbers -- and a revealing look at the number of folks employed to put out the paper of record. Take a look:

Editors at the Book Review: 14

Reporters at Metro: 50

Size of the Opinion/Editorial Department: 49

Size of Sports Desk: 57

Critics in the Culture
Department: 18

Editors at The Times Magazine: 21

Average age of the Obituaries Desk:
58 years old

Size of Thursday Styles: 7

Size of Business Desk: 85

Size of Washington Bureau: 45

Size of the Dallas Sales/Advertising Staff: 4

Size of Week in Review: 5

Total size of Art Department: 113

Size of Dining: 5

Size of Metro: 103

Number of Pressman Journeymen at the College Point plant: 106

Newsroom layoffs and buyouts are always tragic. But 57 on the sports desk? bk

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