Chicago-based real estate mogul Sam Zell is shaking up Tribune-affiliated newsrooms across the country.
It’s been a lively week in the newspaper world, and the excitement hasn’t exactly been of the desirable variety. Earlier in the week, Tribune Co. Chairman and CEO Sam Zell (whose “unconventional” leadership style has caused upsets in Orlando and Los Angeles newsrooms) announced major cutbacks at Tribune papers across the country, and then The New York Times’ Valentine’s Day edition brought word that the Gray Lady will also be downsizing its staff.
The New York Times:
The cuts will be achieved by “by not filling jobs that go vacant, by offering buyouts, and if necessary by layoffs,” said the executive editor, Bill Keller. The more people who accept buyouts, he said, “the smaller the prospect of layoffs, but we should brace ourselves for the likelihood that there will be some layoffs.”
The Times has 1,332 newsroom employees, the largest number in its history; no other American newspaper has more than about 900. There were scattered buyouts and job eliminations in The Times’ newsroom in recent years, but the overall number continued to rise, largely because of the growth of its Internet operations.
Shares in The New York Times Company rose almost 5 percent Thursday after the newsroom staff reductions were reported, closing at $18.84, up 86 cents.