Memo: 200 Jobs to Go at ‘Seattle Times’

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By: E&P Staff

Cuts at the troubled Seattle Times will increase, according to a memo sent to employees today and published online by the local alt-weekly, The Stranger. It promises a job reduction of 200 positions. Other sources place the possible newsroom slicing at 45.

Here is the memo from Publisher Frank Blethen as published by The Stranger, at www.thestranger.com
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Due to the continued and increased loss of traditional newspaper revenue for both The Seattle Times and the Seattle P-I, we will be making necessary expense reductions. Our circumstances are in line with the newspaper industry nationally, which continues to see steep declines particularly in areas of Classified ad revenue and also a slowing of online revenue growth.

We had hoped the expense reductions made at the beginning of the year would prevent the need for further downsizing, but that is not the case. The only responsible action to take is to better align our expenses to the reduced revenue we now anticipate.

The SOC team has identified approximately $15 million in budget reductions that will be implemented over the next two months. These include significant changes to the way we do business and involve realignment and centralization throughout our organization. You will hear more about the specific changes in departmental meetings.

The most difficult part of these changes involves a reduction of our workforce of approximately 200 positions through a combination of freezing open positions and a significant number of layoffs. This is not an action we take lightly?we recognize and regret that these decisions have a considerable impact on people?s lives.

Most affected employees are being notified today. In certain job categories, Expressions Of Interest (voluntary separations) are being considered, so there will be some continued uncertainty over the next two weeks until the EOI process has been completed. Alayne Fardella will send out a follow up communication with additional details.

While this is difficult news, it is important to note that the Seattle Times Company and the brands we represent remain market leaders. Our audience reach in print and online is deep and broad in the greater Puget Sound. Strategic and thoughtful changes to the way we do business will allow us to be positioned for the future.

Our success is based on our public service mission and our people. We are grateful for each individual?s contribution toward sustaining The Seattle Times as an independent and meaningful voice in our community far into the future.

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