The Times has confirmed plans to cut up to 100 of its 700-strong editorial workforce as managers look to cut the paper’s editorial budget by 15 per cent.
News International said the majority of those affected on The Times will be casual staff, while sister-title The Sunday Times will also make up to 20 full-time staff redundant and lose around 30 per cent of casual staff, in a bid to cut editorial costs there by 12 per cent.
According to a report on The Times, editor James Harding this afternoon told staff: ‘There are about 700 people who, in one form or another, have a working relationship with The Times. Some are on staff, some are casuals, some are on retainers. At the end of this process, I expect that up to 100 of those people – retainers, casuals and staff – will no longer be working for The Times.’
Harding blamed the economy, a 25 per cent increase in the cost of newsprint and ‘slow progress in raising advertising revenue from the iPad edition”.
Staff at The Times will now begin a two-week consultation in which they can apply for voluntary redundancy but NI has not ruled out compulsory redundancies.
According to the report on The Times website there is no voluntary redundancy scheme at The Sunday Times, so all the redundancies there will be compulsories.
Plans to merge back office functions of both papers have reportedly been dropped and there are understood to be no plans to drop sections or supplements from either title, or to increase cover prices.
The Sun is not affected by the cuts.
Before she resigned from the company in July former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks warned staff to expect widespread job cuts across all NI titles.
An email sent to staff warned them that ‘tough decisions are coming’and that ‘costs will need to be cut and savings made in overheads and personnel” following a review of its costs base.
The company has been looking at how it can streamline the business where there is common ground between its three national newspapers.
In June it announced a management restructure that saw Richard Caseby appointed group managing editor for the The Sun and the News of the World and Anoushka Healy made group managing editor for The Times and The Sunday Times.
Earlier this month it emerged that following the closure of the NoW around 100 former News of the World staff had lost their jobs, including those who did not take voluntary redundancy and who have not found other jobs in the company.