Under cover of big News Corp. news, ‘New York Times’ announces 30 more buyouts

Jill Abramson. ()
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What better time to announce a round of staff reductions than on the morning when the entire media world is reading about your competitor?

As News Corp. was disseminating news of its planned company split and resultant management changes at The Wall Street Journal, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson announced that the company was seeking 30 buyouts from non-union newsroom managers.

“There is no getting around the hard news that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced,” Abramson wrote in a staff memo reported by the Times' Christine Haughney. "I hope the needed savings can be achieved through voluntary buyouts but if not, I will be forced to go to layoffs among the excluded staff.”

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This is the third round of buyouts to hit the times in the past four years.

On Capital...

Rupert Murdoch on big News Corp. re-org: 'Daily' will shut down, Angelo moves to 'New York Post'

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. splits up with girlfriend who figured briefly in tales of Times Co. intrigue

In other news...

John Huey talks to David Carr about leaving Time Inc. [The New York Times]

How will liberal media cover President Obama's second term? [Politico]

Jeff Zucker's CNN strategy. [Ad Age]

Mark Thompson has postponed his planned town halls with New York Times Company staff. [The New York Observer]

Did Thompson know more about the BBC scandal than he's letting on? [New York Post via The Sunday Times]

Carl Swanson profiles New Republic owner Chris Hughes. [New York]

Ken Auletta profiles Elisabeth Murdoch. (Good timing!) [The New Yorker]

Following the New York papers' coverage of the cop-boots-homeless-man heartwarmer. [Poynter]

Quote of the day..

In the end, you have to trust trained, experienced correspondents to judge how much risk is too much. And that brings me to the main point. To my mind, the bigger question for our business is not whether we sometimes err on the side of caution, but whether we are hiring, developing and deploying the next generation of trained, experienced correspondents to make those calls.

Bill Keller

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On TV...

On "Reliable Sources" yesterday, Howard Kurtz and his guests discussed the beginning of the Jeff Zucker era at CNN:

From our inbox...

More on Ken Auletta's Elisabeth Murdoch profile, via a New Yorker press release:

In “The Heiress” (p. 50), Ken Auletta talks to Elisabeth Murdoch, the prominent television entrepreneur and the daughter of Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman and C.E.O., about her family and the scandals that have recently embroiled them, her own rise as a television executive, and News Corp.’s future. Recently, Murdoch and her husband, Matthew Freud, the great-grandson of Sigmund Freud and owner of one of Britain’s leading public-relations firms, “have become almost a fifth column within the Murdoch empire, challenging the journalistic ethics of News Corp. and establishing her independence,”Auletta writes. Though Elisabeth is the eldest child from Rupert Murdoch’s second marriage, her brothers Lachlan and James have alternately occupied the “heir apparent” role at News Corp. One family friend compares Elisabeth to Cordelia, King Lear’s devoted daughter, whom he banished, telling Auletta, “She loves her father, but she’s the wrong sex.” In 2001, Elisabeth started her own television network, Shine, even though, she tells Auletta, her father thought she “was completely insane.” Today, the Shine Group produces twenty-four scripted shows and a hundred and fifty-four non-scripted reality shows, many of which, such as “MasterChef” and “The Biggest Loser,” have become crossover hits in other countries. Rupert Murdoch has made it clear that when he passes away he expects a family member to run News Corp. “There are three siblings, and only two top jobs,” Auletta writes. Intentionally or not, Elisabeth “has positioned herself as a powerful contender for the role, and thus as a rival to James.” Barry Diller, who has known Elisabeth Murdoch since she was nine and who was Fox’s first C.E.O., tells Auletta that she is “the most entrepreneurially accomplished person in that family, other than Rupert.” And one longtime associate of Murdoch’s tells Auletta that Elisabeth “combines the best of her brothers in one package. She has the brains of James and the heart of Lachlan.”

Some news from the long-form "read it later" app Pocket:

Digital publishing is evolving rapidly, and earlier this year, we met two journalists, Jim Giles and Bobbie Johnson, who decided to launch their own project on Kickstarter, called Matter.

Their goal was to create a digital publishing company for original longform storytelling in the realm of science, technology and the future.

They hoped to raise $50,000. Instead, they raised more than $140,000.

Today we’re thrilled to announce that Matter and Pocket have teamed up to help readers enjoy these new stories with Pocket—on any tablet, phone or computer, even offline.

When you subscribe to Matter for 99 cents a month, it means you can also access Matter’s stories in Pocket. Using our Site Subscription feature, you’ll be able to quickly save Matter stories to Pocket—and when you’re in Pocket, you can log into Matter to begin reading it.

Pocket has become an important tool for millions of people, and we’re excited to help publishers like Matter make it easy for their subscribers to save and enjoy those stories anywhere.

Read Matter’s first piece, “Do No Harm,” a haunting story by Anil Ananthaswamy about “being at war with your own body.”