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New York Times Layoffs Underway, Paper Didn't Get Enough Buyout Volunteers

Newspaper is letting 21 union employees go this week

The New York Times began layoffs on Tuesday after the newspaper did not get enough volunteers to take an offered buyout package.

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The paper had granted buyouts to 57 members of the Newspaper Guild of New York, plus 30 non-union members. Combined, it neared the internal stated goal of 100 total buyouts, but fell short of the number needed. The Times said it will let go of 21 union employees this week, bringing the total exiting  up to 108.

The paper did not explicitly state whether or not additional non-Guild workers would be let go.

Also read: New York Times Veteran Exits: Christine Haughney Takes Buyout on Heels of Bill Carter Leaving

In a message to staff on Tuesday, Executive Editor Dean Baquet, did say that the layoff process would not go beyond this week.

"We will be saying farewell to close and valued colleagues, which is difficult for all of us," he said.

Baquet replaced Jill Abramson when she was abruptly ousted in May.

Also read: New York Times’ David Carr Takes on Conservative Blogger for Publishing Addresses of Times Reporters

"These are very difficult days as we are losing some valued colleagues and friends," added Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger. "But these and other staff reductions throughout the organization are necessary as we confront the realities of a radically changing industry."

According to a memo from the Guild, most terminated employees will receive two weeks of notice pay. Employees hired before May 1, 1994, can be offered an additional 15 weeks of work or paid out for the time.

Reporting on its own turnover, the New York Times said it began the month with approximately 1,330 employees.

Earlier this month, veteran reporter Bill Carter took a voluntary buyout after two decades with the paper, and was quickly followed by Christine Haughney.