New York Times offers buyouts in restructuring of video unit
The New York Times will offer a buyout program to employees throughout its video section while simultaneously making a series of hires as part of an effort to restructure the department, Executive Editor Dean Baquet announced in a memo to staffers Tuesday.
Layoffs could follow the program, depending on the which members of the video department raise their hands for buyouts, per Baquet's memo:
As to the question of layoffs — until we know what talent we've been successful in bringing on board combined with which members of the department take the voluntary buy-out we have no way of knowing whether lay-offs in the department will take place.
In July, The New York Times announced it was revamping its video section under the supervision of masthead editor Steve Duenes. The department, which as of this summer comprised about 75 staffers, recently developed a virtual reality story in partnership with The New York Times Magazine.
Here's the memo:
To the Staff:
For some months now we have been rethinking and refocusing our efforts in Video. The culmination of that work is an ambitious new vision for both our journalism and our business on all platforms. This will inevitably lead to some staff restructuring as well as expansion.
Toward that end, we will take two steps. We will do some targeted hiring to add the kinds of deep experience, news judgment and creativity we believe essential to take our video to a higher level. And we will also offer a buy-out in Video open to anyone on the staff -- whether they are excluded or in the guild --- effective Tuesday. We will consider all offers to take the buy-out, but as is the case in such actions, we will have to turn down those we think essential to our operations.
As to the question of layoffs -- until we know what talent we've been successful in bringing on board combined with which members of the department take the voluntary buy-out we have no way of knowing whether lay-offs in the department will take place.
I encourage everyone in Video to have a conversation with me, Steve, Tom, Janet or Matt to discuss how your skills fit in with the restructuring.