Time Inc. Lays Off 6 Percent of Staff

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday is layoff day at Time Inc. According to an email from CEO Laura Lang, around 6 percent of the 8,000-person workforce is expected to get cut–which translates to around 500 positions. The company, a division of Time Warner, is one of the largest media companies worldwide and includes titles such as Time, People, Sports Illustrated and InStyle

“Today we are beginning the painful process of reducing our global staff of 8,000 by approximately six percent,” Ms. Lang wrote in an email to staff. “I know the coming days and weeks will be hard and I want to thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this period.”

Update: We hear that People is looking for nine editorial staffers to take voluntary buyouts. The Times confirmed the figure, elaborating with details culled from a memo that went out today from People EIC Larry Hackett.

The Observer has learned that the title “reporter-researcher” refers to the fact checkers. In the memo, which was erroneously reported to read “reporters OR researchers” specified that Mr. Hackett was looking to cut six fact checkers from the ten person department.

“In a memo to his staff, Larry Hackett, editor in chief of People magazine, said that he was seeking nine volunteers to accept severance packages,” the Times said. “According to the memo, he specifically was looking for three writers and six reporters or researchers to volunteer to take packages.”

The deadline to take the buyout is February 13. Otherwise, People will have to resort to layoffs.

“If necessary, we will then follow the guild contract procedure for conducting involuntary layoffs in these guild categories,” Mr. Hackett added, referring to the Newspaper Guild, the union representing Time, Inc. employees.

At Time, the company’s flagship magazine, managing editor Rick Stengel is looking for six volunteers to take buyouts by February 13, reported The Wall Street Journal. Otherwise, the magazine will have to resort to “involuntary layoffs.”

“Time Inc. is undertaking a companywide restructuring,” Mr. Stengel wrote in a memo to employees obtained by the Journal. “As part of this cost-savings initiative, we need to make some cuts in our editorial staff.”

Full email from Ms. Lang below:

Today we are beginning the painful process of reducing our global staff of 8,000 by approximately six percent. I first want to thank the people who will be leaving us for their years of hard work and dedication to the company.  They are so much more than Time Inc. employees. They are good friends and trusted colleagues with whom we have worked closely. Losing them is going to be very difficult for everyone. They come from all areas of Time Inc. across our locations – both domestic and international. I am grateful for their service and I know you join me in wishing each of them all the best.

With the significant and ongoing changes in our industry, we must continue to transform our company into one that is leaner, more nimble and more innately multi-platform. To make this change, we need to operate as smartly and efficiently as possible to create room for critical investments and new initiatives. These reductions are part of this important transformation process.

I know the coming days and weeks will be hard and I want to thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this period.

Laura