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Monday, November 3, 2008

Sign of The Times

posted by on November 3 at 14:35 PM

The Seattle Times is cutting their work force by about 10%, it was announced today.

The Seattle Times Co. announced more cutbacks today, including a reduction of 130 to 150 staff positions through a combination of buyouts and layoffs…In a memo to staff, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen and company President Carolyn Kelly blamed the moves on industry changes and the worldwide financial crisis. They said the company needs to adjust to structural changes that have reduced advertising revenue in all media. Even the growth of online revenue previously a bright spot for the company has stalled during the worldwide economic slowdown, Blethen and Kelly wrote.

The company hinted there might be more cutbacks to come: “As the 2009 budgeting process continues, there will be additional expense reductions, which may include additional layoffs,” the memo stated.

This is not good news for anyone.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Susie.)

RSS icon Comments


Thank you, Paul, for acknowledging that a decrease in press is not funny, cute, or snarky.

Posted by Non | November 3, 2008 2:40 PM

Sure it is. How many staff jobs could be kept if Frank sold his fancy car and tightened his belt a little bit?

Posted by Greg | November 3, 2008 2:48 PM

Gosh, I bet they hope their boy endorsed boy Rossi won't make things worse (cough) if he gets elected.

Posted by Andy Niable | November 3, 2008 2:52 PM

Of course, the Wall Street Journal increased circulation 2.4 percent ....

Adapt or die.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 3, 2008 2:54 PM

What's the big deal? The Stranger, after all, is Seattle's Only Newspaper. :-)

Posted by Sachi Wilson | November 3, 2008 3:02 PM

I've been looking forward to this. I hate the Seattle Times' reporting and I wish they'd make room for something better.

Posted by elenchos | November 3, 2008 3:04 PM

I've subscribed to the Times for decades. I should have quit when they became a morning paper (as I enjoyed reading the paper when I got home, and their analysis of the day's events was usually pretty good), but I didn't. In the last year or two, they seem to have fallen off the cliff. Mostly stale NYT wire stories, now that the NYT permits that. There are far fewer pages, they have cut the op-ed section in half and basically do not print letters to the editor, and their obsession with the inheritance tax (and their consequent support of Rossi, Bush, etc.) is going to be their undoing. Even the features are now in a hard to read format most days. It's hard to imagine the paper getting worse than it is, and I don't expect them to be around much longer. Sad, because some of the McClatchy papers I read (Tacoma, Anchorage) are pretty good.

Posted by kk | November 3, 2008 3:16 PM

If you think the Times going away would make room for something better, you're mistaken. It would make room for nothing. Sure, we can get news online, but that's not the same as an involved local paper. It may not be ideal now, but papers change over time...wish for it to improve, not die. Soon we'll get all our news from Fox anyway, I suppose...

Posted by Greg F. | November 3, 2008 3:35 PM

Honestly, big frickin' deal. There are greater numbers of layoffs happening all around us. A measly 10% at the Times doesn't really mean shit.

Posted by please | November 3, 2008 3:39 PM

just merge the remaining scraps of the PI & the Times. maybe combined they can put out something but yesterdays' NYT stories.

otherwise, utterly useless except for estate sale announcements.

Posted by max solomon | November 3, 2008 3:39 PM

Maybe Frank should've spent as much energy in the past 8 years building a quality newspaper as he did railing against the estate tax, gunning for the P-I and breaking the Unions.

This time and under these circumstances, we believe the overpowering need for integrity and civility in office, for a realistic balance between government and commerce, for a new, bipartisan era to confront the needs of the nation all point to the election of George W. Bush.

Posted by DOUG. | November 3, 2008 4:10 PM

I wish this could have happened last year, and lindblom lost his job before ranting against Prop. 1 in "news" pieces for the times.

Posted by Andrew | November 3, 2008 4:17 PM

Old Seattle Sez:

Stop hoping for anything better! It ain't gettin' no better in Seattle, so be satisfied with it. Anyhow, it was good enough when Old Seattle was growin' up. Why ain't it good enough for you?

Thanks, Old Seattle! Now shuffle off.

Posted by elenchos | November 3, 2008 4:26 PM

Having negative comments toward Blethen or the product itself is one thing, but how about a little compassion toward community members losing jobs? Harsh.

Posted by j_me | November 3, 2008 5:05 PM

But now with their new "Sound Off!" clone, the Times will have the kind of intelligent rational citizen journalism that makes so-called "professional reporters" obsolete!

Posted by All Hail Our InterWeb Overlords! | November 3, 2008 5:11 PM

Aquisition! I want a daily Stranger!

Posted by guy | November 3, 2008 6:25 PM

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