More Layoffs at the New York Times Co.?

CFO says yes … and this immediately following boasts of a Q4 profit

It shouldn't be surprising anymore when a large media company like the New York Times Co. announces layoffs.

But considering the Times has already made significant cuts, this part of the company's Wednesday's earnings call — in which the company was touting its strategic slashing to investors — is enough to give anyone in the media business pause.

When asked by an analyst at J.P. Morgan if the company's headcount would be reduced again in 2010, chief financial officer James Follo responded: "I think we would expect that to be the case, yes."

Late last year, the Times reduced its newsroom headcount by about 100, or about 8 percent.

In December, after headcount was reduced, executive editor Bill Keller sent a memo to staffers to say that the "unpleasant task is now behind us." The subject line: "We can exhale now."

There's no indication that this reduction in headcount would come from the newsroom, or whether it would come from cuts elsewhere. (Representatives at the Times were not immediately available for comment Wednesday evening.)

But that the Times would even consider putting itself through another round of morale-shaking layoffs shows you just how scary this business can be sometimes.

More to read:

New York Times Co. Cost-Cutting Leads to 4Q Profit
NYT Editor: 'We Can Exhale Now'