Some would consider it a necessary step for an iconic newspaper facing the digital age, but others would see it a desecration of a New York institution, like giving a facelift to the Statue of Liberty. The New York Times reported that its own newspaper is going to cut 100 newsroom jobs to adjust to the realities of digital and the decline of print. This involves the dismissal of 7.5% of NYT’s staff.
Arthur Salzburger, NYT publisher along with CEO Mark Thompson, said NYTOpinion, a mobile app devoted to views on the news, was shutting down because of a lack of subscribers. This move is seen by management as a necessary one to preserve the paper’s profitability. “The job losses are necessary to control our costs to allow us to continue to invest in the digital future of The New York Times, but we know they will be painful both for the individuals affected and their colleagues.”
The Times’ executive editor, Dan Baquet, said he would have to reconsider the number of sections the paper produces and the amount spent on freelance content. Management said they are in process of “exploration and experimentation” to see what will work, including not charging a subscription fee for its latest product NYT Cooking.
What is startling is that New York Times’ financials had been improving. Digital advertising saw a 16% growth, the highest since 2010, and digital subscriptions rose by 40, 000, the highest gain since 2012. In spite of greater success with subscriptions and advertising, rising costs are the newspaper’s Achilles heel that led to the cutbacks.