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NY Times to Cut Web Staff

The layoffs are expected to affect sites including NYTimes.com, the Web site of The New York Times, and Boston.com, a site affiliated with The Boston Globe, which is owned by The New York Times Co.

The cuts, effective today, will be instituted across the board among The New York Times Digital’s 400-member workforce.

Times Digital lost nearly $46.2 million during the first nine months of 2000, up from a $17.8 million loss during the same period last year, the Times newspaper reported today. The loss comes despite revenues of $37.2 million in the first nine months of 2000, up from $15 million during the same period in 1999.

The company said it hopes the reductions in staff could help the Internet division meet its financial goals by the end of 2002.

“Since its inception, [Times Digital] has demonstrated a tremendous ability to adapt to the changing Internet marketplace,” said Times Co. President Russell Lewis in a press release Sunday. “Today’s action is part of that adaptation process and is consistent with its goal of achieving cash-flow profitability for the year 2002.”

News Corp. to shut down online division

The Times’ recent move was only the latest cost-cutting decision taking a toll on online newsrooms.

News Corp., the media conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch, decided last week to dissolve its online division and merge its Internet operations with their respective television entities.

The decision will affect the company’s U.S.-based Web sites, including Fox.com, FoxNews.com and FoxSports.com.

“We strongly believe that combining the news, sports and general entertainment productions and news gathering operations will greatly reduce costs while ultimately providing an enhanced experience for our audience and greater integrated advertising opportunities for our sponsors,” said Jon Richmond, president of News Corp.’s digital division, in a statement.

The company’s U.S. Web sites have 450 employees between them, and reports from Reuters and the Associated Press say as many as 200 could end up with pink slips when all is said and done.

The decision follows a 4 percent layoff at FoxNews.com last October that cost 14 editorial workers their jobs.

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