About a year ago, the Associated Press decided it needed to trim payroll by about 10%. That gave it time to whittle away at the target via retirement and other forms of attrition. But despite that, the goal has not been met, which means layoffs are on the way. Magazine publisher Time has announced that it is following suit.
According to Politico, nearly 100 staffers have taken advantage of an early retirement buyout that was offered beginning in the summer, but that number is well short of where AP wants to wind up. Politico estimates as many as 400 positions may be in jeopardy.
In addition to flagship Time, the magazine publisher puts out big titles such as People, Sports Illustrated and some 20 additional titles. Slammed by the downturn in the advertising market, which hit print especially hard, it is said to be looking at cutting costs to the tune of $100M , and may be lopping off well over 500 jobs.
RBR-TVBR observation: The internet gouged a piece out of every medium’s business, but print – both newspaper and magazine – is ground zero for maximum damage.
We’ve always personally wanted to have a physical copy of a magazine or newspaper at times – such as for subway or airplane rides, but at home or in the office, it’s no problem to read that content on our computer screen.
The increasing availability of web-based information on mobile platforms – remember when a phone was just a phone, and it was in a fixed position? – suggest that print is increasingly going to be a niche business, and that publishing companies are going to have to learn how to conduct their business over the internet or simply go out of business.