New York Times sacks two veteran news editors

NEW YORK • A leading American daily's abrupt dismissal of two veteran editors last week has sent shockwaves through its newsroom, after a series of moves in recent years to reorganise it in the face of declining print ad revenue.

Mr Kyle Massey and Ms Vanessa Gordon, who had served The New York Times (NYT) for 16 and 20 years, respectively, were assistant news editors playing key roles in the print operation before they were fired by the newspaper on Thursday and told to leave on the same day, The Huffington Post reported.

Newspaper and magazine publishers worldwide are struggling to arrest the fall in their print ad revenue, caused by advertisers' increasing preference for digital platforms as readers turn to smartphones and tablets.

Founded in 1851, NYT has gone through a series of layoffs and buyouts in recent years and has redeployed resources to growth areas, including digital.

Last month, it reported slightly increased revenue of US$367 million (S$522 million) and net income of just over US$9 million for the third quarter, helped in part by a slowing decline in print advertising and a rise in digital subscribers.

Digital-only circulation revenue in the third quarter grew about 14 per cent to US$49 million; while overall circulation revenue increased by 1.1 per cent to US$209 million, a result of the rise in digital subscribers and an increase in home delivery prices that offset a decline in print copies sold, according to NYT. Overall, total revenue was 0.7 per cent higher from the year-ago quarter's US$365 million, it said.

It was a gloomier picture earlier in the second quarter when the group posted lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as its print advertising sales fell for the fourth straight quarter, Reuters reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2015, with the headline 'New York Times sacks two veteran news editors'. Print Edition | Subscribe