Loss-making Times cuts jobs

The Times will make 20 journalists redundant after a warning from acting editor John Witherow that News Corp’s profitable entertainment businesses will no longer subsidise the title.

The jobs cuts will affect fewer than one in 10 editorial staff, The Times said.

Mr Witherow told staff the reorganisation of News Corp into two companies would mean tougher conditions for Times Newspapers, which publishes The Times and The Sunday Times. It lost £28.7 million in the year to July 2012, accounts filed at Companies House show.

The titles have previously benefited from the support of News Corp’s 82-year-old chief executive Rupert Murdoch.

“For several years now Times Newspapers has been losing money,” said Mr Witherow at a staff meeting. “The company has tolerated this because it could use profits from elsewhere in News Corp to pay for our papers and because the proprietor has a passion for newspapers.

“I fear that era of being subsidised is coming to an end. The separation of the two companies means that the newspapers will form a bigger and more exposed element in the new News Corp.”

News Corp will be split at the end of this month. Its entertainment businesses, which include its TV channels and film studios, will be renamed 21st Century Fox. The publishing division, which also includes The Wall Street Journal, will retain the News Corp name.

Mr Witherow said the editorial teams of The Times and The Sunday Times would not merge, but the idea would be kept ”under review”.

“It is important, as much for commercial reasons as editorial, that we keep the characters of the papers separate and this requires different staff in several areas,” said Mr Witherow, who became acting editor of The Times in January after almost two decades at the helm of The Sunday Times.

Telegraph, London

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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