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April 25, 2008
Let's Play 'Who's out at the Times?'
The New York Post is reporting that things are liable to get bloody in the purge of New York Times staffers, necessary as a result of a cataclysmic fall off in revenue:
THE New York Times' news room is bracing for a bloodbath in the next 10 days. Wanna play a game? Let's guess which well known Times reporters and columnists might be pink slipped this week. I'm sure you have your favorites as do I.
The word from inside is that approximately 50 unionized journalists have accepted the buyout proposal, and only another 20 non-union editorial employees have gotten on board.
That means the ax could fall on as many as 30 editorial people in the company's first-ever mass firing of journalists in its 156-year history.
Executive Editor William Keller had said originally that he was looking to cut 100 people from the Times staff in response to the dismal newspaper advertising environment.
But then a week ago Assistant Managing Editor William Schmidt issued a memo saying it was almost certain that the company would be forced to make involuntary cuts, and he urged more volunteers to come forward.
The plea apparently fell on deaf ears. With just 70 people stepping forward for buyouts, it is very likely that 30 newsroom staffers will be forced out in coming days.
I would start at the top and kiss Bill Keller, executive editor, goodbye. And Maureen Dowd could probably use a change of scenery.
Perhaps Paul Krugman could latch on at some high school and teach economics. And Frank Rich? The former food critic for the Tmes could no doubt find a job worthy of his talents - busboy at some forgettable NewYork eatery.
Those are my choices. What are some of yours?