Time fires 289 employees in cost-cutting measure

Time Inc., the world’s largest magazine publisher, has laid off 289 employees at its top titles in order to expand its branded properties on the Web, where the company sees its future.

The publisher’s most profitable magazine, People, has let go 44 editorial employees and closed down its bureaus in Washington, Miami, Chicago and Austin, TX.

In turn, People is creating seven new jobs, for a net loss of 37.

The company’s flagship title, Time, is also laying off 50 people and is shutting down its bureaus in Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. Seven positions in Washington and three in Paris are being eliminated.

Overall, 289 people, including 172 on the editorial side and 117 on the business side, will be let go. The total represents 2.6 percent of the company’s global staff of 11,300.

Ann Moore, chairwoman and chief executive of Time Inc., said in a statement to employees that “progress brings change … and we need to continue to evolve to meet the cost pressures and challenges presented by our rapidly shifting industry.”

Employees at People were given the news via speakerphone from the magazine’s New York offices.

Of the laid-off editorial employees, 83 are members of the Newspaper Guild and, according to their union contract, have been granted two weeks to decide whether to leave voluntarily.

The 87 non-Guild employees must leave by Feb. 1.

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