Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Changing Stories: The Shrinking 'New York Times' - Gawker:

Last July, Times executive editor Bill Keller sent around a memo detailing the changes that would be occurring. He started by saying that the NYT's printing plant in College Point, Queens would be adding another high-speed press, and the Edison, N.J. plant would be "subleased"—i.e., closed. He also said that "when this consolidation is complete—in April 2008—The Times will adopt the narrower format that is now becoming the industry norm."

Of course, the move to narrower pages is happening in August 2007, not April 2008. And yesterday's memo also said: "a large number of press mechanics will changeover prepared presses at College Point, Edison and national plants on Sunday to be able to print at the new size." Curious! Why would the Times go to the (expensive!) trouble of getting a new press for a plant they're about to close? Why not wait until the original appointed date, next April, to make the change, when they're going to be closing the plant and putting all those people out of work anyway?

It also seems as though either the size changes have turned out to be more significant than Keller originally thought, or else he has deliberately downplayed their significance to his staff.