We're hearing from a good source that Tom Curley, the head of the Associated Press, just held a town hall meeting to tell employees that the AP "will lose 10% of its staff next year." At a current headcount of over 4,000 employees, that would translate to at least 400 jobs lost, which could theoretically come through either layoffs or voluntary buyouts. Several cash-strapped newspapers—including the entire Tribune Co.—have recently announced plans to drop their AP subscriptions. Still, this would be a massive cut for what has always been one of the steadiest possible realms of journalism. AP employees with more details on this, email us. UPDATE: The AP has sent us a statement, which doesn't contain any numbers but acknowledges that cuts may be coming—though mostly through attrition, they hope:

The Associated Press, like virtually every business in the world, is defining strategies for operating in these complex and difficult financial times. All areas and ways of doing business are being reviewed. The AP, which recently instituted a strategic hiring freeze, may need to reduce staff over the next year. If so, it hopes to achieve much of the reduction through attrition. While we are looking for new efficiencies in the way we operate, AP's mission as the essential global news network does not change. Plans for the rollout of regional desks in the United States , which will provide deeper, more relevant coverage for our members, will continue, with hubs being developed in Chicago and Phoenix joining those already announced in Atlanta and Philadelphia . Paul Colford Director of Media Relations