Longtime New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott is among the 80 newsroom staffers who plan to take voluntary buyouts.
The Gray Lady’s media coverage has been particularly hard hit by the latest round of departures. Elliott is at least the third reporter from that team to take the money and run.
In addition, veteran TV reporter Bill Carter, with 25 years under his belt, is leaving with a new book contract from Viking in hand. Christine Haughney, who covered print media, is also headed for the door.
“After 8 years with @nytimes including nearly 3 years wiring about my colleagues in the troubled newspaper industry, I am taking a buyout,” she tweeted on Tuesday.
In a Facebook posting on Wednesday, Elliott wrote: “For many, many years covering advertising, marketing and media, I’ve written about people who are ‘leaving to pursue other interests’ or leaving ‘to explore career opportunities’ or even to ‘spend more time with (his/her) family.’ Now I am going to be one of those people.
“After 23 1/2 wonderful, stressful, exciting years at The New York Times — writing the daily Advertising column, daily and weekly Addenda (with all those people items) and for almost 14 years the weekly In Advertising email newsletter — I am going to be leaving,” he continued.
About 57 members of the Newspaper Guild had their buyout applications accepted by the Times. Five were rejected because management felt the jobs would be too critical or there were too many from a particular department.
Another 23 non-union staffers are also exiting, pushing the total number of approved buyouts to 80. The paper is looking for 100 jobs cuts overall, meaning that some will likely be forced to leave.
Elliott said the buyout terms — three weeks pay for each year of work plus a sweetener equal to 35 percent of the final annual salary — made the offer too attractive to turn down.
“I am taking part in the (generous) buyout offer The Times has made to longtime employees and my final day at work will be Dec. 19. It is scary, and exciting, and I want to thank everyone who has helped me all these years in tackling this demanding job. (Those who didn’t help, you know who you are.) I look forward to staying in touch here and all the best for the holidays and the new year!”