News Union takes dues hit at Time Magazine

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Tree-killers beset by red ink, leftism, paper-stream waste

The other shoe is about to drop at Time Inc. Insiders expect the troubled magazine giant to start offering buyouts to staffers as the work week begins.

In the face of a severe advertising recession that has brought double digit ad-page declines to many of its titles, including Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly, the Time Warner division announced a major restructuring on Oct. 29th that was set to include a 6% cut in its workforce, or about 600 jobs.

According to one insider, Time Inc. follows Newspaper Guild rules that mandate a two-week window for staffers to be offered buy-out packages. If not enough volunteers come forward by the end of that period, layoffs begin.

“[Management] is not going to get [the number it wants],” predicted a veteran staffer. The stock market plunge, which has hurt pension plans, and the dismal job market would make people extremely reluctant to leave, he explained.

“Morale is horrendous,” he added. “No work is getting done.”

A Time Inc. spokeswoman declined to comment.

The company posted an 8% decline in ad revenue in the third quarter, Time Warner announced Wednesday. Through the first 9 months of the year, the division generated operating income of $162 million, a slide of 36% compared to the year ago period.

Time Warner also stated that Time Inc.’s restructuring charges would come to more than $100 million.


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