Wednesday, April 16, 2008

N.Y.Times Star Reporters Head for the Door...

But It May Not Be Enough. Why Mood is Black at the Gray Lady

Radar yesterday had more of the names who are taking buyouts from The New York Times. They include mainstays like Murray Chass, Jane Gross and Lawrence K. Altman, along with Philip Shenon and Karen Arenson.
They'll join such brand names as Linda Greenhouse, John Noble Wilford and David Cay Johnston.
But now we learned geting those veterans' above-scale salaries off the book won't be enough. The Times was looking to trim the newsroom head count by 100. But apparently enough editors and reporters think enough of the paper to want to stick around. Or maybe they don't think enough of the buyout offer.
Either way, the number who signed up was less than 100, which will mean a "limited number" of layoffs.
After the dust settles, it'll be instructive to see which beats are filled and which will lie fallow. Of course, someone will take Greenhouse's spot at the Supreme Court, but it's doubtful Chass will get replaced as the Times' baseball eminent grise.
Either way, it means even the Times will now be doing less with fewer. The Times has always propped itself on its formidable reputation. But with fewer bodies putting out the daily report, this may be the time when signs of strain are finally beginning to show.

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