Seattle Times to cut staff by 10 percent

Posted: Tuesday, November 04, 2008

SEATTLE - The Seattle Times on Monday announced plans to cut its staff by 10 percent through a combination of layoffs and buyouts.

The cuts of 130 to 150 jobs are the third staff reduction announced by the 112-year-old, family owned newspaper this year. The company hinted in an e-mail to staff Monday morning that there could be further cuts as the 2009 budgeting process continues.

The newspaper told its employees that the tough economy and dropping advertising revenue are forcing the layoffs.

"We have made progress in adapting to the loss of advertising revenue. ... Now, we are faced with a highly volatile national economy which has caused a significant cyclical downturn," said company spokeswoman Corey Digiacinto.

Because some of the job cuts will be voluntary buyouts, Digiacinto said it would be unclear for at least another month which departments the job reductions would most affect. A majority of those leaving the company will do so by the end of the calendar year, she said.

"There are a lot of moving pieces right now because of the expression of interest process, so we don't anticipate having all of the specifics before mid- to late December," she said.

The primary emotions expressed by Times staff on Monday were sadness and fear, said Yoko Kuramoto-Eidsmoe, president of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, which represents employees in various departments at The Times.

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