50 layoffs at the ‘Times’; newsroom spared, but long-time assistant general counsel George Freeman isn’t

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The New York Times building. (wallyg via flickr)
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The New York Times has laid off 50 employees from its human resources, finance and legal departments, including long-time assistant general counsel George Freeman. No pink slips were handed out in the newsroom, this time around.

The news was first reported by Jim Romenesko. The Times followed with an item on its Media Decoder blog.

This is the second time in about five months that the Times has trimmed its ranks. It implemented a round of voluntary buyouts at the end of last year, but there were no layoffs attached to that deal, as had been the case during the bloodbath of 2009.

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Staffers who belong to the union that represents more than 1,000 Times employees, meanwhile, remain deadlocked with management in a very public contract battle that has been raging on and off for more than a year now. The Times continues to see advertising revenues decline, although its parent company got a boost in the last fiscal quarter thanks to the sale of its regional newspapers and improved circulation revenues flowing from its year-old paid digital model.

As for Freeman, who led the Times and a dozen other news organizations in calling out the NYPD for abuses of the press during the Occupy Wall Street protests last fall, he told Romenesko of being let go after 31 years: "I am both saddened and shocked."

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More on Arianna Huffington's recently narrowed role within AOL. [The Wall Street Journal]

A dispatch from the Vice upfront: Are they working on a news channel in partnership with Bloomberg? [Ad Age]

Ted Turner wanted CNN to be like The New York Times, not the Daily News. [Dylan Byers/Politico]

The New York Post is in hot water for publishing a racist column. [Gothamist]

The Fox News Mole has inked a low-six-figure book deal. [Gawker]

The creator of new buzzy media Tumblr "Editor Real Talk" revealed. [The New York Observer]