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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Liberal Newspapers reducing work for force by more than 600 positions

Big City Liberal Newspapers throughout the U.S has seen there Revenue decline due to there Liberal ways as readerships continues decline, the left wing Media Giants are feeling the pinch as moderate and more conservative readers have been canceling subscriptions due one way reporting. Although this election appears to be going to the democrats. It has more to do with the Bush Administration then anything else but there has been a definite change in how the public wants more in fairness when reporting from these outlets. can use the excess of the economy but the readership over the past 5 years has been in deep decline.

Facing falling revenue in a stalling economy, the Los Angeles Times has laid off 75 editorial employees, part of a 200-person reduction.

“The Times is no less immune to the twists and turns of the current economic situation than virtually all other businesses and institutions,” Publisher Eddy W. Hartenstein said in a prepared statement. “As such, we continue to evaluate and realign our organization and operations.”

The cuts represented about 10% of the editorial staff, Editor Russ Stanton said in an e-mail memo.

Monday’s staff reduction came on top of earlier cuts this year. In February, The Times slashed 100 jobs, including more than 40 in the newsroom. In July the company reduced the number of pages it published each week by 14% and eliminated 135 positions from the newsroom.

Monday’s cuts brought the editorial staff to about 660, down from a high of 1,200 in 2001.

The cuts reflect conditions across the newspaper industry, which is confronting sharply deteriorating print advertising revenue.

Although online ad revenue is rising, it has not made up for the losses.

Newspaper profit has been declining at a steadily accelerating rate since the second quarter of 2006, including through a sustained period when the overall economy was in an expansive, robust phase, said independent media analyst and investor Alan Mutter.

Newspapers rely heavily on advertising from retailers, people selling real estate, auto dealers and employers looking for workers. All those business categories are hurting.

The Times is part of Tribune Co., a Chicago-based media company that owns a variety of newspapers, television stations and other assets including the Chicago Tribune, KTLA-TV Channel 5 and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

Since Chicago entrepreneur Sam Zell took Tribune private in December, the company has eliminated 2,000 jobs and cut the number of pages its newspapers publish as the corporation seeks to make annual debt payments of close to $1 billion.
Time Inc., the world’s largest magazine publisher, plans to cut 6 percent of its work force — more than 600 positions — and will revamp the organization in a way that could radically alter the culture at the company.

Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg News
Ann S. Moore is Time Inc.’s chairman and chief executive.

The company outlined the overhaul on Tuesday evening in a memorandum to employees after The New York Times revealed the cuts on its Web site. The layoffs will begin in about two weeks.

No magazines are scheduled to close, but some are likely to be severely cut back. Ann S. Moore, Time Inc.’s chairman and chief executive, was already planning an overhaul because of the upheavals in print media, but she was forced to speed up those efforts amid the financial crisis and looming recession.

Time Inc.’s 24 magazines in the United States and their Web sites will be organized into three divisions: news, which will include Fortune, Money, Time and Sports Illustrated; lifestyle titles, which include Real Simple, Cottage Living, Coastal Living and Southern Living, among others; and style and entertainment, which includes People, InStyle and Entertainment Weekly, which has suffered a severe downturn and is likely to be whittled down under the new structure.

Heads of the news and entertainment units will continue to report to John Huey, the editor in chief of Time Inc. The lifestyle unit, which may be run by Bill Shapiro, who has been development editor, will report to the business side of the company. Martha Nelson, who is editor of the People Group, will head the entertainment division.

Ms. Moore declined to be interviewed, but in an article published in The Times of London a little more than two weeks ago she said, “I don’t know if there will be layoffs.”

The company, a division of Time Warner, the media conglomerate that includes CNN, Turner Broadcasting, HBO, AOL and the Warner Brothers movie studio, is facing the twin perils of a shifting landscape from a severe downturn and a loss of readers and advertisers to the Web.

Time Warner is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Nov. 5, and will announce how much savings it expects to wring from Time Inc. It may take a charge to its earnings to account for the revamping.

Within Time Warner, where Jeffrey L. Bewkes is nearing his one-year anniversary as chief executive, Time Inc., while profitable, has been a lag on growth. In a conference call with Wall Street analysts in August, Mr. Bewkes said both AOL and Time Inc. “are tracking behind our expectations this year.”

Executives said the reorganization was intended partly to allow Time Inc. to focus on its big brands — publications like Sports Illustrated, People, Time and Fortune — on platforms other than print. Examples executives cited were Sports Illustrated-branded kiosks that are popping up in airports and a music festival that was put on by Essence.

Power within Time Inc., which through many mergers over the decades became the modern Time Warner, has long been diffuse, with individual publishers and editors essentially running their own shows. That distinct culture is coming to an end.

Dawn Bridges, senior vice president for corporate communications at Time Inc., said that, in the future, “we’ll have a more centralized management structure that will group together titles that share similar audiences, advertisers and the talents and skills of their staffs.”

The changes will lead to more sharing of writers between magazines within each new division, examples which have already been seen, including a cover story in Time in late September that was written by Andy Serwer, Fortune’s managing editor, and Allan Sloan, a columnist at Fortune.

Even after previous cuts, the company still has 10,200 employees globally, with about 7,000 in the United States. (In addition to its well-known American publications, Time Inc. owns nearly 100 magazines abroad.)

None of this has been enough to fight off the changes roiling the media industry. When Time Warner last reported earnings — on Aug. 6, for the second quarter that ended June 30 — it reported a 6 percent, or $77 million, decline in revenue at Time Inc. to $1.2 billion. Operating income was $218 million, down 15 percent.

In a separate announcement Tuesday, Time Inc. sent a memorandum to employees saying that Edward R. McCarrick, a 35-year veteran, would retire at the end of the year as worldwide publisher for Time magazine.

Despite the avalanche of media layoffs, (Gannett, Time Inc., and Business Week publisher McGraw-Hill have all announced major job cuts this week) New York Times executive editor Bill Keller bucked the trend by doing his best to pour cold water on our earlier tip about 20% layoffs coming to its 1,200-strong newsroom. Per the Observer, he told his staff, "I do not see another round of newsroom reductions on the horizon," and that he had access to some sort of special "investment fund" for new hires on the business desk. He even gave a non-denial denial of our original item: "Consider the source." Okay then! But what we're still hearing is that Keller's editorial side of the paper is in the midst of a big fight with the business side over the timing and size of staff cuts. So, while layoffs may not be on his horizon, they are for the people looking at the numbers.

The scenario sounds reminiscent of the three-year, knock-down, drag-out battle at the L.A. Times that led to three different top editors stepping down rather than implement the job cuts demanded by Tribune Co. executives staring at dwindling circulation and advertising trends. Eventually, management won (who'd a guessed it?) and the LAT has been shedding jobs ever since.

And in another parallel to the ongoing Tribune saga, we also hear that some in the NYT executive suite have broached the topic of putting prize New York Times Co. assets (such as its office building, its stake in the Boston Red Sox,, regional papers) on the block to raise enough cash to take the company private, which, considering the five-year, 80% swoon of its stock price to a $1.4 billion market cap, is becoming an ever cheaper proposition.

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