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More Layoffs in Store at The New York Times, $5 Million Earmarked for Trump Coverage

”Let’s not be coy. These changes will lead to fewer editors at The Times,“ letter to staff says

The New York Times will earmark $5 million to cover the Trump Administration, according to a letter sent by executive editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joe Kahn to staffers on Tuesday.

The letter also indicated more layoffs are in store for the Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization. The move comes after the paper ended its coverage of restaurants, art galleries, theaters and other tri-state regional coverage last summer, which resulted in dozens of job cuts and was a precursor to more cuts to its culture coverage that came at last November.

“We will focus cuts on the multilayered editing and production systems, a legacy of our newspaper traditions that remains much bigger and more complex than at our competitors,” the letter read. “To that end, you should know the company is investing more than ever in accountability journalism. As we explain later in this document, the business side will provide us an additional $5 million so we can produce even more coverage of the incoming Trump administration.”

The additional funds will allow the paper to “report on the postelection transformation with even more ambition,” according to the letter.

Baquet and Kahn tipped their hat to the many NY Times journalists who “reported from the ground in more than 150 countries last year, often at great personal risk. Our commitment to expert journalism will not waver.”

The letter continued: “We will use these resources to ensure that we remain ahead in chronicling the Trump era in Washington, New York, the nation and the world. We will be adding to the ranks of our investigative journalists and subject-area experts, from taxes and immigration to education and climate change, to ensure that no one has more compelling coverage on the White House and beyond.”

The communique also detailed the results of the paper’s 2020 group’s report that examined it’s digital and print report by “talking with people throughout the newsroom, the company and the wider industry, and consulting with us on the most important next steps in our transformation.”

Baquet and Kahn wrote, “David Leonhardt and the team he led prepared an insightful and concise survey of the challenges we face as well as the opportunity we have to produce an even more vital, more authoritative, more indispensable report that commands a larger and more loyal audience in this country and around the world.”

The Times will even move away from “low-value line editing” that slows down the process of reporting news.

“It slows us down, costs too much and discourages experiments in storytelling. Backfielders, department heads, News Desk editors and, yes, the masthead spend too much time line editing and copy editing, moving around words with little true impact on a story. Copy editors, meanwhile, spend too much time editing and re-editing stories that should be posted quickly,” the letter said.

The Times brass admitted the move would result in reduced headcount: “Let’s not be coy. These changes will lead to fewer editors at The Times. One of our overarching goals is to keep as many reporters, photographers, graphics experts and videographers on the ground as possible.”