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New Layoff Wave Breaks with Profits A-Plunging

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Layoff Wave Breaks with Profits A-Plunging

Article excerpt

Dow Jones, E.W. Scripps, and the New York Times Co. are among those announcing new cuts

With the twin specters of lower advertising revenue and higher newsprint costs looming over first-quarter earnings reports, newspaper companies announced more staff cuts last week, adding to an eerie unease about the rest of 2001.

Last year's boom in dot-com, financial, and technology advertising turned to this year's bust -- combined with the March newsprint price hike and pessimism about the economy's prospects -- haunts the profits picture, with many companies already issuing warnings about their earnings.

The New York Times Co., whose February newspaper ad revenue declined 7.5%, said it would make an undetermined number of cuts by offering buyouts over the next three months, with layoffs possibly following. The trims will start sooner at its online division, New York Times Digital, where staff is to be cut this week for the second time this year.

Dow Jones & Co. Inc. said Thursday it would lay off 202 employees, about 2.5% of its work force, as part of an effort to cut expenses by $60 million this year. Comparisons are especially tough at Dow Jones, since The Wall Street Journal was a big beneficiary of last year's bonanza in national advertising. …

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