Media Industry Update: Time Inc. Cuts 500, The NYT Reshuffles, But Not All Is Grim

It’s no surprise that the journalism industry has been struggling in many ways for a while now. Those of us who’ve taken Investigating Journalism (née Foundations of Journalism) were bombarded with this fact over and over again for months. And as for the rest of us, we’ve seen the headlines: “Newsweek Ends Print Run,” “The Daily Shutting Down: News Corp. To End Daily iPad Publication,” and even “2012 Deadliest Year For Journalists On Record.”

Still, many of us are hell-bent on pursuing careers in media. And so, for the determined young journalists and all other inquisitive minds, NYU Local has a new series. In Media Industry Update, we’ll chronicle the latest journalistic news — the foreboding updates, the few glimmers of hope, and everything in between — primarily focusing on New York media outlets, so that you can know where the media jobs are, where they aren’t, and what’s going on in the careers of our favorite celebrity journalists.

Here’s this week’s roundup of the most important industry updates:

Time Inc. Starts Massive Layoff Period: Time Inc., which publishes magazines such as Time, People, and Sports Illustrated, began a massive layoff period yesterday. CEO Laura Lang, in an email to her staff, announced that about 6% of the company’s staff is expected to get cut. That’s roughly 500 people. Yikes.

The New York Times Reshuffles Its Masthead Following Buyouts: Early in December, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson announced that she was seeking voluntary buyouts from 30 newsroom managers since the paper could no longer afford the massive size of its newsroom. Now, the buyout period is officially over, and many big names have left, including Managing Editor John Geddes, Assistant Managing Editor Jim Roberts, and Culture Editor Jonathan Landman. As a result, The Times has been forced to make changes to its masthead. For instance, former Business Editor Larry Ingrassia is now an assistant managing editor for new initiatives. A new culture editor has yet to be named. Needless to say, morale at The Times is pretty low.

The New New Republic Starts With A Bang: Last March, Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes bought a majority stake in The New Republic. This week, Hughes revealed his newly designed site, apps, and glossy mag, boasting an interview with none other than President Obama on its latest cover. As a result, the new New Republic has been getting a lot of attention, but we hear there are many reasons why you shouldn’t be motivated and inspired by this turnaround. Shucks.

ICYMI, Al Jazeera Is Hiring — In A Big Way: Earlier this month, Al Jazeera posted over 100 US job openings to its website, the vast majority of which are in New York. The reason for these openings is that Al Jazeera, which is funded by the Qatari government, bought the Current TV network with plans of launching its Al Jazeera America network this spring. We hear there are even more job postings to come. Yay for good news!

As Zucker Starts At CNN, Changes Begin, But No Luck For Ann Curry: This week, former NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker began as president of CNN Worldwide. He’s been open that big changes are soon to occur at CNN, and began following through by announcing the arrival of ABC News anchor Chris Cuomo (brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo), who will take over CNN’s 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. slot. There were rumors that Ann Curry — who was exiled from NBC’s Today Show this past summer but is still contracted by the network — would be joining Zucker as a prime anchor at CNN. However, TMZ has learned that Zucker has no interest in taking on Curry. Poor Ann.

*Cough, Cough* — Barbara Walters Is Sick: If you’ve been wondering why The Queen of The View has been absent from her show this week, it turns out Barbara Walters has chicken pox. Apparently, she never had them as a child. Who knew! (Feel better, Barb.)

That’s all we have for this week! We hope to have more optimistic news to report in the next Media Industry Update, but we’re not holding our breath.

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