Time Inc. Layoffs Finally Quantified: 400-500, With Plush Buyouts

Give thanks: Time Inc.'s now-annual autumn cuts are tough but not horrific. The magazine group will eventually fire 400-500 people, primarily from its news division, the New York Times reports. Sports Illustrated took the first hit. (Update: Buyouts on offer.)

Of an initial cull of 15 to 30 sales and marketing folks at Time Inc tonight, a large chunk came from Sports Illustrated, a Time Inc. executive told the Times' Stephanie Clifford. The bigger news is an estimate of the total jobs to be shed; prior reports stated only that the company wanted to shave $100 million in costs mainly through layoffs.

The executive estimated the total number of layoffs as being between 400 and 500 people. The largest percentage of layoffs are expected to come from the news division, which includes Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, this executive said.

That's a worrisome number of job applicants out on the street, to be sure. But as we said last fall of the firing of another 600 staff, it's still relatively modest (about 5 percent) against total of 10,000 or so Time Inc. employees. What Time Inc.-ers should really be worried about: That the company is delaying real change and will thus have to do this again next year as it did in Oct. 2008, September 2007, January 2007, December 2005 through April 2006, etc.

UPDATE: A spy tells us that Time Inc. will offer those who accept buyouts an additional 13 weeks of pay — three months! — in addition to two weeks of pay for every year of service. That's according to talks with the Guild. The two weeks per year was also offered last year, but without the 13-week bonus. Writes our tipster, "A lot of people are expected to take packages...." We would. How many rich buyout packages can print media possibly have left in it, anywhere?