The Moonie-owned Washington Times today issued all 370 employees a WARN Act notice, which is required 60 days in advance of layoffs that involve 100 or more people. Michael Calderone reports that the paper will be shedding around 40% of its staff. In the press release, though, this devastating cut is just a part of a bold "transformation into a 21st century media company." In that the future of media in the 21st century does not involve drawing a paycheck, yes, this is accurate. In every other way, the release is a lie.
Washington Times Announces Additional Changes to Become a 21st Century Multimedia Company
Changes include improved on-line presence, focused print edition and more exclusive news and commentary
WASHINGTON, DC - The Washington Times LLC today announced changes to refocus its position as a provider of vital information and insight to readers in the nation's capital, across the country and around the world. As with other news organizations in the United States, the company continues to reshape operations to keep pace with the dynamically changing economics of the news business.
"These changes will continue The Washington Times' transformation into a 21st century media company and reinforces its mission to provide an independent, alternative voice in the nation's capital," said President and Publisher Jonathan Slevin. "We have developed plans to secure our position and advance our vital role in an evolving media marketplace and through challenging economic times. A new Washington Times will continue to reach readers and more effectively earn new audiences via digital, broadcast, print and wireless media, well into the future.
"Changes at the Times are rooted in a rigorous business analysis applying sound and tested financial principles, and shaping plans informed by current marketplace realities," continued Slevin. "In this regard, the company is aggressively working to achieve efficiencies of scale that must include significant staff reduction of its 370 personnel."
Scheduled for incremental implementation between now and the first half of 2010, the changes announced include:
• News focused on strengths. The Washington Times news operation will operate in a highly focused manner, investing in Washington Times' well-established core strengths that include exclusive reporting and in-depth-news national political coverage, enterprise and investigative reporting, geo-strategic and national security news, and cultural coverage based on traditional values.
• Controlled-market local circulation. In the first quarter of 2010, the local print edition will be distributed at no cost in select areas, and home/office delivery will be offered at a premium price. No-cost distribution will focus on targeted audiences at influential branches of the federal government as well as at other key institutions. Single copy sales will continue through newspaper boxes and retailers at select locations. Current subscribers will also be offered their choice of subscriptions to Washington Times' digital editions and The Washington Times National Weekly.
• Digital news resources: The Company will expand the recently launched theconservatives.com, subscription-based e-briefings and other new digital information resources as part of its online strategy.
• Radio programming. The newspaper's 3-hour-a-day morning radio program, "America's Morning News," will continue to grow through its syndicated by Talk Radio Network. It currently airs in more than 70 markets nationwide.
• Partnerships. The Washington Times will work closely with its affiliate company, United Press International (UPI), to mutually benefit both organizations through collaboration in areas such as photography and online sales, as well as leveraging UPI's multi-lingual and international presence.
"The new Washington Times will continue to report Washington-focused news that other journalistic enterprises often overlook," said Slevin. "Fearless reporting, respect for American values, and crisply written editorials and columns will remain the centerpieces of our new strategy, and our content will continue to engage readers and viewers through a wide range of 21st century media."