updated 9/20/2005 6:40:31 PM ET 2005-09-20T22:40:31

The New York Times Co. and two Philadelphia newspapers announced major job cuts Tuesday as the industry grapples with severe financial problems including weak advertising and circulation declines. The Times said it would cut about 500 jobs, while the Philadelphia papers will eliminate a total of 100 jobs.

The cuts at the Times represent about 4 percent of the company’s overall work force and will be made across the company, including about 45 jobs in the Times newsroom and 35 at The Boston Globe.

The Times also said its third-quarter earnings would come in well below Wall Street forecasts because of sluggish advertising trends and higher-than-expected costs from a previous round of job cuts in May, which resulted in 200 jobs being eliminated. McClatchy Co., a California-based newspaper publisher, also trimmed its earnings forecast Tuesday because of weaker-than-expected advertising.

The Philadelphia Inquirer will cut its editorial staff 15 percent, from 500 to 425 people, while the Philadelphia Daily News will cut its editorial staff 19 percent, from 130 to 105. Both papers are owned by Knight Ridder Inc., the nation’s second-largest newspaper company.

The cuts come as the newspaper industry faces serious problems including slow advertising growth, long-term declines in circulation and a widespread shift by readers — especially younger ones — to online news sources.

The Times said it expected 250 jobs at its main newspaper group to be affected, which includes the Times, the International Herald Tribune and the online operation of the Times. Of those job cuts, about 45 will come from the Times’ newsroom, the company said in a statement.

Another 160 jobs will be cut from the Times’ New England operation, which includes The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Boston.com. The company did not provide a breakdown of those job cuts other than to say that 35 newsroom jobs would be cut at The Boston Globe.

In a note to Times staffers, the Times’ chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and its CEO Janet Robinson called the new round of cuts “a painful process” but a necessary one given the “continued financial challenges and the cloudy economic outlook for the remainder of the year.”

Sulzberger and Robinson said the company would manage the cuts “in such a way that we continue to provide our readers, users, listeners and viewers with journalism of the highest quality and that our operations function smoothly on a day-to-day basis.”

Last week, Knight Ridder said its third-quarter earnings would fall about 20 percent because of declining ad sales, as well as higher interest expense and newsprint costs.

Knight Ridder cited weakness in its Philadelphia — one if its biggest newspaper markets — as well as Fort Worth, Texas and Kansas City as leading factors behind the profit decline.

The Daily News, which is losing nearly one-fifth of its news staff, will need to restructure its operations, editor Michael Days said. He said that the newspaper — which has been the subject of closure rumors for more than a decade — would survive the cuts.

“We have to step back and say, ’What do we have to let go,”’ Days said. “We’re really just starting to talk about it, but clearly we’re going to have to change some of the things we do.”

The Times also said Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings would likely be 11 cents to 14 cents per share compared to 33 cents last year, versus analysts estimates of 26 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial.

The Times cited a challenging advertising environment and higher-than-anticipated costs related to job reductions for the shortfall. Excluding revenues from its newly acquired About.com unit, the Times said advertising revenues decreased 1 percent in August.

Expenses related to the job cuts in May will run to $12 million to $14 million, or 4 cents to 6 cents per share, higher than originally expected because a greater than anticipated number of people participated in the program. The company said it could not yet estimate the cost of the latest round of job cuts.

Also Tuesday, the Sacramento, Calif.-based newspaper publisher McClatchy said its third-quarter earnings would come in at the low end of its forecast because of slow retail and automotive advertising revenue.

The company, whose 12 dailies include the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Sacramento Bee, said advertising revenue has slowed compared with earlier expectations, resulting in a 1.7 percent increase in total revenue for August.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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