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New York Times, Dow Jones Slash Internet Staffs

Company executives have said the cuts will also extend to an unspecified number of employees at the Times newspaper. The company said employees in the Times’ newspaper and broadcasting divisions would also feel the budget pinch, although some have been offered buyout options.

About 47 of the 325 employees at New York Times Digital will be cut, following a similar move in January that slashed 69 jobs.

However, two-thirds of the new layoffs will come from Abuzz, the company’s information-sharing service, and Winetoday.com, a wine information site that will lose its California-based office and be run from Times headquarters in New York.

Technical support for Abuzz, once licensed out to affiliate groups, will now be run from the offices of Boston.com, a site linked to the Times-owned Boston Globe, said spokeswoman Catherine Mathis in today’s Times.

New York Times Digital chief Martin Nisenholtz said Abuzz, which allows visitors to participate in online chats and other interactive elements, will remain a viable Web presence.

“We hope to continue to improve it,” Nisenholtz said. “We still believe fundamentally in the notion of human search and human interaction on our Web sites.”

Times Chief Executive Russell Lewis said last week the move would help the Web unit keep costs down and move toward profitability.

“Given the slowdown in advertising and the cloudy economic outlook for the remainder of the year, we believe that it is prudent to accelerate our ongoing cost control efforts, including a reduction in staffing levels,” he said.

Cuts at Dow Jones

Last week Dow Jones, the parent company of The Wall Street Journal announced a 2 percent job cut.

More than 200 of the company’s 8,500 employees were laid off and 300 job openings eliminated. Thirty-five of the jobs eliminated are coming from among the the 250 employees of WSJ.com, the Web site of The Wall Street Journal.

The company said layoffs are part of an effort to reduce costs by $60 million. None of the layoffs will come from the editorial staffs of The Wall Street Journal or Dow Jones Newswires, a Dow Jones spokesman said.

Dow Jones chairman and CEO Peter Kann told reporters last week a recent downturn in earnings for the company stemmed from a “soft advertising environment which continues into April. … We’re clearly seeing the downside of last year’s extraordinary technology boom.”

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