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New York Times lays off 68 staffers, primarily from ad division

New York Times lays off 68 staffers, primarily from ad division
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The New York Times is laying off 68 staffers, primarily in its advertising division, but none in its newsroom or opinion section, according to an internal memo to employees sent Tuesday.

The layoffs come as the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on most of the media industry due to declining ad revenue, with layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts impacting many major and small news outlets.

“The eliminations are taking place in parts of the company that have seen a significant immediate impact from the virus, but they also reflect long-term trends in our business and are fully consistent with the company’s strategy,” reads the memo from New York Times President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Meredith Levien.

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“The decline of some traditional revenue streams and the changes in direction that inevitably come with digital experimentation have also meant some job losses," it adds.

The Times reported last month it had beat first-quarter profit and revenue estimates, but warned of a "steep fall in advertising sales" in the second quarter due to the pandemic.

The company has forecasted advertising revenue in the current quarter, which ends at the end of the month, will plunge 50 to 55 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.

"The Times's business model, with its growing focus on digital subscription growth and diminishing reliance on advertising, is very well positioned to ride out this storm and thrive in a post-pandemic world," Thompson said on May 6.