Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New York Times Starts Layoffs of 26 Newsroom Employees

Chris Rovzar, writing for, has the names of the first few people who have been given notices of being laid off at The New York Times:

It's a "pretty grim atmosphere" over at the Times today, when layoffs are coming down from on high as the paper tries to reach the 100-person editorial cut it announced earlier this fall. While 74 staff members took the buyout, that left 26 to go. Layoffs have been ongoing all day, sources tell us, with the unlucky few people called upstairs out of the newsroom — where now people are "standing around in clumps and obviously talking about everything." Here's the list of names that we know so far who have gotten the ax, and their departments:

Eric Konigsberg — Culture
Sara Rimer — National
Christine Hauser — Metro
Josh Barbanel — Real Estate
Mitch Blumenthal — Continuous News
Kate Galbraith — Business
Allen Salkin — Styles
Monica Evanchik — Web

Barbanel is married to Times writer Anemona Hartocollis, who remains on staff. "They both came to work today with jobs, and one of them went home without one," observed one writer. "Not that that should mean some kind of job security, but it's kind of fucked up." Salkin was another surprise, as he contributes a cover story almost every week to "Styles." But the cut that's sparking the most buzz is Konigsberg, who was brought to the paper to be a "Metro" editor and also wrote the "Age of Riches" series. He was later lured to the "Culture" section by Sam Sifton, who was recently made food critic for the paper. "Eric basically lost his rabbi," said a co-worker. "He's a completely elegant writer ... People around here are in shock over it."

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