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NYT's Press Democrat to cut payroll 10%

“What affects our advertisers, in the end, affects us,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat publisher Bruce Kyse told his employees yesterday as he announced that the New York Times’ owned paper has been told to cut its payroll by 10 percent next year.

Kyse said the PD, with 325 employees, will cut costs by reducing salaries, offering buyouts and, if necessary, laying off workers.

A report in today’s PD noted that major advertisers such as Gottschalks and Mervyns have gone bankrupt. Classified ads continue to migrate to other online sites such as Craigslist. And the local real estate market remains weak, Kyse said.

The payroll reduction also will apply to the weekly Petaluma Argus Courier, which is owned by The Press Democrat and has a staff of 16. But the North Bay Business Journal, which also is owned by the New York Times, will not face the same cuts.

Managers will see a 5 percent cut in salary starting Jan. 1, while other nonunion employees will have their pay cut 3 percent. Those cuts are on top of a 2.5 percent salary rollback that went into effect in March.

Kyse said negotiations with the newspaper’s unions will aim to achieve a similar payroll reduction.

A PD story on the cuts quoted reporter and Guild Chairman Derek Moore as saying he was open to discussions but considered the further cuts “something of an insult” given the history of layoffs and salary reductions in the newsroom over the past two years.

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