The Christian Science Monitor, which last fall said it would halt its daily print edition and shift to online coverage, will reduce its 90-person editorial staff by about 7 percent. In a memo to staffers this week, editor John Yemma said the cuts will involve 15 or 16 positions, half of which have already been eliminated through attrition. The rest of the cuts will be made through voluntary buyouts. If the goal isn't reached by Feb. 16, layoffs will occur.
The disclosure reflects the financial woes besetting the newspaper industry, which has been buffeted by declining circulation and advertising revenues.
"Everybody in the news industry is suffering. Everybody is having to cut costs, and we're no exception," Yemma said. "We at least feel some confidence about having made a strategic decision that moves us to a web-first form of journalism that should help us control our costs."
The Monitor is known for its overseas coverage - at a time when other media outlets have been closing foreign bureaus - and Yemma said the eight foreign bureaus, along with the Washington office, are not likely to be affected. The paper's circulation has declined from a peak of 230,000 in the early 1970s to about 52,000 today.
In April, the Monitor will go to a weekly magazine-style edition, with its daily coverage online. "We're trying to make the shift to the Web," Yemma said. "Our plan is to sustain our news operation that way. I think everyone's going to have to do it."