Washington Times cutting staff by up to 40 percent

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Washington, Dec.3 (ANI): A new plan has been outlined for the beleaguered Washington Times, with Jonathan Slevin, acting publisher and president of the paper, speaking of "significant staff reductions" at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

According to sources in the paper, 40 percent of the staff could be on their way out.

All staff received notices at the meeting that informed them they'll be working at the Times for at least 60 more days, but it's unclear who will be laid off at this time.

The notice was given to all 370 staffers to insure that the Times was compliant under the WARN Act, which according to the Department of Labor, requires "most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs."

So everyone remains in limbo until told that they'll be staying on after 60 days. It's expected that some staffers could be told very soon, with others informed either way later in the 60-day window.

A Times release went out after the meeting began that outlines some of the major changes taking place in the first quarter of 2010.

The news operation, according to the release, will focus on what it considers core strengths - "exclusive reporting and in-depth national political coverage, enterprise and investigative reporting, geo-strategic and national security news and cultural coverage based on traditional values."

There will be "controlled-market local circulation," with the local print edition free in certain areas of Washington with a premium price for home delivery.

It's been a tumultuous past month at the paper, and staffers were only informed of the meeting about an hour ahead of time in a one-line e-mail. (ANI)

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