Peddling fake news does not, in fact, equate to a long-term successful business strategy, reporters for The New York Times are learning the hard way.
The Gray Lady, which many in the media class consider the pinnacle of the information business, is struggling so much financially that reporters are expected to be laid off from the publication, along with many editors, the New York Post reports.
“Reporters at the New York Times could soon be ‘vulnerable’ to the ax,” the Post’s Keith Kelly wrote. “If the ongoing round of voluntary buyouts being offered to editing staff does not get enough takers, the Gray Lady could begin another round, NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet recently warned his top department editors.”
Kelly reported that as part of an ongoing restructuring at the Times—which has been happening since early 2017—a whopping 109 copy editors have already been terminated while only 50 new jobs are likely to be created as the paper shifts its focus to digital. Kelly wrote:
When the downsizing was first revealed in late May, a memo from Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn portrayed the cuts as a “streamlining” of the editing process and indicated that some of the savings would be used to hire up to 100 more journalists. But in a mid-June meeting with department heads, Baquet admitted that journalists could be targeted in a new round of layoffs once the editing ranks are culled.
Kelly quotes a memo from New York Times metro editor Wendell Jamieson who said that the buyouts that are eliminating editor jobs at the Times are now also targeting reporter jobs there.
“I just attended a department head meeting with Dean and the rest of the staff,” Jamieson said in the June 15 memo to his staff. “While much of the buyout discussions have focused on editors, the buyouts are also available to reporters. Dean made it clear that, should the Times find itself in a layoff situation, reporters will also be vulnerable.”
“This proves what we have suspected all along,” NewsGuild president Grant Glickson said, according to the Post. “The Times ‘restructuring’ of the newsroom is really about the bottom line and not about making the editing process more efficient, as they claim.”
NewsGuild is the union that represents New York Times editorial staff. Glickson also said that the Times had not until now indicated that forced layoffs would happen if it did not reach its targeted buyout goals. Now, the entire Times newsroom is at risk of losing their jobs.
“Up until now, the company had not indicated that layoffs would happen if targeted numbers weren’t achieved,” Glickson said.
The layoff process, per Kelly’s New York Post report, is “speeding along” over the labor union’s “objections.” Kelly wrote:
Interviews for copy editors to apply for the new positions are expected to conclude June 27. They are being conducted by 14 top editors — Jamieson, Monica Drake, Nancy Gauss, Steve Kenny, Marc Lacey, Patrick LaForge, Dean Murphy, Caroline Que, Carolyn Ryan, Karron Skog, Dick Stevenson, Archie Tse, Vivian Toy and Susan Wessling. The interview committee will meet June 28 and June 29 to decide who will be called back for a second interview.
The Times has been struggling financially for some time. A piece last year in Vanity Fair magazine from Sarah Ellison was headlined: “Can Anyone Save The New York Times From Itself?” The piece details “financial woes” the Times faces, and “tectonic tremors” jolting the newsroom—and questions whether Dean Baquet, the executive editor, can really do any good there. Fortune Magazine, a few months earlier, ran a piece calling the looming Times budget slashing “managing the decline of print.”
If the Times does dwindle in size—and thereby influence—ceding territory to newer upstart competitors, it could bring about a seismic shift in the media industry as to which outlets have power and which do not.
Walking into the current administration, the legacy establishment media likw the Times and its broadcast allies like CNN have wielded the most control over the media. But CNN finds itself under significant scrutiny, as it was forced as a result of a Breitbart News investigation just this week to retract an embarrassingly inaccurate hit piece on the president and his associates.
This is just the latest example of CNN under fire in the new world of media—while the Times keeps draining away in the long term. Part of the reason why the media target the president so much and so viciously is because he represents a threat to their continued business models—thus their cushy, elitist lifestyles could come to an end if such a change in the landscape occurred. President Trump is a threat to them, in large part, because he calls them out directly.
The President has repeatedly called the Gray Lady “the failing New York Times.”
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News in the Oval Office in February, President Trump lambasted the Times for its “intent,” which he said is “evil.”
“If you read the New York Times, if you read the New York Times, it’s—the intent is so evil and so bad,” President Trump said in the Oval Office interview. “The stories are wrong in many cases, but it’s the overall intent. Look at that paper over the last two years. In fact, they had to write a letter of essentially apology to their subscribers because they got the election so wrong.”
He also said about the Times that “they write lies.”
As for CNN, President Trump correctly identified them as a “very fake news” network.