100 accept buyout packages from NY Times ‘death panels’

100 accept buyout packages from NY Times ‘death panels’

By Keith J. Kelly July 20, 2017 | 10:37pm | Updated

The New York Times “death panels” have concluded their work, Media Ink has learned, and as of 5 p.m. on the July 20 deadline, it appeared 100 employees at the Gray Lady have accepted “voluntary” buyout packages and are leaving the building.

Aside from the complete elimination of the title of copy editor, and layoffs of many holding that job, the Times offered buyouts to a limited number of reporters, photographers and design people, according to Grant Glickson, president of the NewsGuild of New York, who was still tallying the final numbers at press time on Thursday.

There is no word on whether the number will satisfy Times management — or whether involuntary layoffs will follow.

The Times declined to comment on the process.

How voluntary the buyout packages really were is subject to some debate as well.

There were an estimated 110 copy editors and backfield editors who were told in May by executive editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joe Kahn that their old jobs were being eliminated.

But at the same time, the Times said it was creating a new brand of editor to oversee content in digital, print and video formats.

That new format would handle content across all platforms.

Facing job eliminations, copy editors were told they could apply for the new positions — but with no guarantees of landing one of the 60 new jobs up for grabs.

Reporters had staged a mini-walkout in late June, exiting out a side entrance on the south side of the building and walking around the front of the Eighth Avenue tower and back in a side entrance on the north side.

The reporters carried signs indicating their support for the copy editors.


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