‘NY Times’ To Cut 250 Jobs — and Page Size

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The New York Times plans to cut 250 jobs and shrink the size of its pages in 2008, making them one-and-a-half inches narrower, the newspaper reported in Tuesday’s edition.

The newspaper’s plans include closing a printing plant in Edison, N.J. The plant’s workload will shift to another in New York City, the article said, estimating the moves would save the company $42 million per year. The job cuts account for about one-third of the Times’ total production work force of 800, the newspaper said.

The reduction in the size of its pages would mean a loss of 11 percent of the space devoted to news, but the newspaper plans to add pages to make up for about half of that loss.

“That’s a number that I think we can live with quite comfortably,” Executive Editor Bill Keller was quoted as saying. “The smaller news space would require tighter editing and putting some news in digest form.”

The article, noting that USA Today and The Washington Post have cut their size, pointed to rising newsprint costs and the loss of readers and ad dollars to the Internet.

“It’s painful to watch an industry retrench,” Keller said. “But this is a much less painful way to go about assuring our economic survival than cutting staff or closing foreign bureaus or retrenching our investigative reporting or diluting the Washington bureau.”

The change in size is slated to go into effect in April 2008, accompanied by a phased-in redesign of the paper.

The consolidation of printing operations will enable the company to avoid about $50 million in capital improvements at the New Jersey facility, but it will cost about $150 million to expand the other operation.

The company plans to sublet its facility in Edison, N.J., which first opened in 1992, and add a printing press to a newer facility in the College Point section of Queens, the article said. Those changes are also expected to occur at about the same time in 2008.

The report came on the eve of a quarterly earnings report by the New York Times Co. to be released Tuesday morning.

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