A look at Q3 downsizing trends

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Computer key - 3rd quarterAlthough Q3 is now behind us, there were quite a few cuts and downsizing that took place over the last several months. Here’s a look at some of the headlines that dominated the end of Q3 in regards to layoffs, sales and foldings.

Time Inc’s Food & Wine eliminated six editorial staffers last month, reported Media Bistro.com. Reportedly, it was an attempt to cut costs as the company’s first quarterly report since time Warner spun them off showed a net loss of $32 million.

The Tampa Bay Times has instituted a five percent reduction to pay for full-time employees at the paper. Anticipating layoffs, the company is also reducing severance from 13 weeks to eight weeks, reported TampaBay.com. However, employees have been offered the choice to leave voluntarily with full severance at current pay.

Advance Publications sold Parade magazine to Athlon Media. Parade is carried by more than 700 daily papers, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Glove and New York Post.

After two years, Reader’s Digest is dropping its frequency from 12-times-a-year to 10-times-a-year in 2015. DailyHerald.com reported that the decision was due in part because “in the second half of last year, the U.S. edition of Reader’s Digest had circulation of 8.2 million, 2 percent above the rate base but 12 percent below circulation a year earlier. Its decision to adjust to rate base suggests expectations that circulation will drop further.”

The Wire is being folded into The Atlantic magazine less than a year after the site was spun off from the primary Atlantic magazine website. The initial idea had been to rebrand The Wire as its own entity. According to a memo posted by Gawker.com, The Wire staff is also being folded into the Atlantic magazine’s website and will acquire new titles and beats.

Spin Media Group also laid off 19 staffers last month, affecting roughly 14 percent of the company’s 127 staff members, reported CapitalNewYork.com. The layoffs were in part due to Spin Media’s decision to kill the print edition of Vibe magazine.

The Commercial Appeal is laying off at least 17 people as the print edition is revamped. Thirteen of the employees being laid off were Memphis Guild members, reported MediaVerse.

Just this week it was announced that the New York Times Company is planning on cutting roughly 100 positions in the newsroom, or 7.5 percent of the newsroom staff, citing a boost in long-term profitability. According to AdAge.com, the publishing company will initially offer voluntary buyouts.

One of the latest cuts in the industry is Digital First Media’s decision to hire UBS Securities to help them look at options, which could include selling its 76 dailies and 160 weeklies. Meanwhile, Freedom Communication folded the five-month-old Los Angeles Register and laid off approximately 20-some staffers.

Check back at inVocus next week when we take a look at some of the more inspiring initiatives from the third quarter of 2015.


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