(THE WEEK) — The New York Times on Monday announced that it would offer buyout packages to 30 newsroom employees, and that layoffs would ensue if the 30 spots were not voluntarily filled. Citing a difficult "economic environment" that has led in recent years to a 60 percent staff reduction on the paper's business side, Executive Editor Jill Abramson said, "There is no getting around the hard news that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced."
While the loss of 30 jobs pales in comparison to the ousting of roughly 100 newsroom staffers in 2008, it is the latest evidence that the Times continues to struggle despite putting up a subscriber paywall, which was intended to extract more revenue directly from online readers. The company added an impressive 83,000 digital subscribers in the third quarter, and is on track to have more digital subscribers than print subscribers in the next year or two. But print and digital revenues in the third quarter dropped by 10.9 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. The problem is that "digital simply generates much less revenue than the print business," says Henry Blodget at Business Insider. "So, as the print business continues to shrink, the newsroom has to shrink."