Abramson: Layoffs may follow if buyouts don’t ‘reach the savings we need’

New York Times employees have until COB Thursday to accept the company’s buyout package. The company was hoping about 30 newsroom leaders would take the offer, it announced in December, as “the primary goal of the buyout program is to trim highly paid managers from its books.” In a memo earlier this week, Executive Editor Jill Abramson encouraged employees to consider the option:

If you think the buyout is something that works for you at this time in your life, we urge you to give the offer serious consideration if you haven’t already.

Layoffs may follow if the buyouts don’t “reach the savings we need,” Abramson writes.

Who’s bitten so far? Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke and Joe Pompeo both run down buyout-takers. Former Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Bob Christie tells Bloomgarden-Smoke he was laid off: “My position was eliminated as part of company wide cost cutting,” he said in an email.

Here’s a running list of people who’ve said they’re taking buyouts.

Assistant Managing Editor Jim Roberts:

Roberts’ name came up about two weeks ago in New York magazine as a possible buyout candidate.

Roberts became digital editor of nytimes.com in 2006 and became an associate managing editor in 2008, then assistant managing editor in late 2010, with a focus on the Times’ digital journalism.

In an interview with David Taintor, Roberts remembered the first time he was introduced to Twitter by New York Times developer Jacob Harris.

I do remember this presentation that Jake had made to a bunch of the editors and managers on the digital side of the Times, and it made an impact on me. I didn’t sign up immediately. I can’t say that I immediately saw the value that I certainly see now.

Roberts was recently elected to the board of the Online News Association.

Other departures:

  • Culture editor Jonathan Landman
  • Reporter Jacques Steinberg
  • Columnist Joyce Wadler
  • Editor for Special Sections and Development Alice DuBois
  • Managing Editor John Geddes
  • Editor of News Technology Terry Schwadron. In a memo, he tells coworkers:

    My other life as a musician has complemented this one: You succeed especially as a trombone player by knowing how to blend, when to lead, when to clarify, how to improvise, and how to build cohesion through skill, understanding and humor. You can’t play a complex piece of music alone. Is that why there’s no “i” in Jazz, brass quartets or orchestra? I applaud those with whom I have worked closely and appreciate those who have offered support along the way. I’m sure there will be time to say goodbye before I leave.

  • Classical music critic James R. Oestreich. In a memo, he says:

    I am delighted to report that I will be advising the department on our coverage through the spring, as well as continuing to write for The Times on a freelance basis.

  • • Propublica announced today that New York Times Sports Editor Joe Sexton has just left the Times for a job as senior editor at ProPublica.

    • In other Times news, Philly Daily News reporter Ellen Gray created a bit of a stir online after taking a consumer survey for the paper that she said “seemed to be testing waters for doubling or tripling price of my digital subscription.

    • Know of more people leaving? Email me.

    Julie Moos contributed to this report.

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • Kimm Ryland

    Aria. I just agree… Phyllis`s article is impossible, yesterday I got a brand new Chevrolet Corvette after having made $4146 this-last/five weeks and more than ten-grand last-munth. it’s actualy the best job I have ever had. I started this three months/ago and pretty much straight away was bringin in minimum $75, per-hr. I work through this website,, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT