Staff cuts are in the works at The New York Times, along with additional budget cuts as the newspaper continues to struggle to bring its operation into the digital age, according to a report by The New York Post.
“The thickly staffed editing and production departments could feel the brunt of the cuts, Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn wrote in a memo,” The Post reports. “The two discussed the cuts as a sweeping and, at times, harshly critical 35-page ‘2020 Report’ was released. The report, prepared by a team of seven journalists, was focused on how the paper was managing its transition to a more fast-paced digital publication.”
Details about the extent of the anticipated cuts were not released. But the memo said, in part: “There will be budget cuts this year. We will lay out the specifics in the coming weeks and months. We cannot pretend to be immune from financial pressures, but we view this moment as a necessary repositioning of the Times newsroom, not a diminishment …”
Smong the observations included in the “2020 Report” is this one: “For all the progress we have made, we still have not built a digital business large enough on its own to support a newsroom that can fulfill our ambitions. We devote a large amount of resources to stories that relatively few people read.”
Another observation cited by The Post is that while The Times has an “unparalleled reputation for excellence in visual journalism,” too much “of our daily report remains dominated by long strings of text.”
The Post also quotes this ominous passage: “We do not now have the right mix of skills in the newsroom to carry out the ambitious plan for change.”