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New York Times outlines pay cuts, sells off Alabama assets

The New York Times Co. is planning temporary pay cuts for most nonunion employees of 5% and will lay off 100 people, the paper reported on its Web site today.


The pay reductions will run April through December, and employees will receive 10 days off in return, according to the company.


The  company also announced it has agreed to sell its local Alabama paper, the Times Daily, to the family-run Tennessee Valley Printing Co. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


The Times Daily will join Tennessee Valley Printing’s existing portfolio of Alabama-based publications: The Decatur Daily and the weekly Moulton Advertiser. The Times Daily has an average weekday circulation of 27,641 in its hometown of Florence, AL, and The Decatur Daily has a weekday circulation of 20,721.


Tennessee Valley Printing also will acquire the Times Daily’s Web site, TimesDaily.com, which reported 186,400 unique visitors and 2.9 million page views in February. Additional acquisitions include the Times Daily’s three glossy magazines — ShoalsWoman, Shoals Magazine and Explore the Shoals — their three companion Web sites and state-of-the-art printing and production equipment located in the Times Daily building in Florence, AL.


Barrett Shelton, Jr. publisher of the Decatur Daily and new owner of the Times Daily, informed Times Daily workers on Tuesday that most of them would keep their jobs. However, the paper’s publisher, executive editor, advertising director and circulation manager were offered severance packages by the New York Times Co. Scott Brown, currently the operations directory for The Decatur Daily, will serve as the Times Daily publisher for the first 90 days after the sale.


“We want the paper to grow; we want the community to grow,” Shelton said Tuesday in a meeting with Times Daily employees. “We’re delighted with this opportunity.”


“We’re very excited about this opportunity,” added Clint Shelton, general manager of The Decatur Daily. “We feel like this is a fantastic opportunity; we love the area. We are confident this transaction will strengthen both newspapers through the synergies that we will achieve. The long traditions of both newspapers of providing leadership in the Tennessee Valley will continue.”


Tennessee Valley Publishing had not returned calls as of press time, so plans for the integration of the two papers and their operations are unclear. Currently, The Decatur Daily has a paid online model, where online articles can only be accessed by subscribers, but the Times Daily — following the model of New York Times Co. flagship NYTimes.com — does not. The Decatur Daily also sells 459 electronic editions on weekdays, while the Times Daily offers none.

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