Next Up On The Layoff Watch: AP

As it works towards its goal of cutting payroll costs by 10 percent by the end of the year, the Associated Press is likely to cut staffers, reports Michael Calderone at Politico:

“‘As first outlined by President and CEO Tom Curley last November, the AP’s goal is to reduce payroll costs by 10 percent this year,’ spokesman Paul Colford said in a statement. ‘That goal remains in place and we are moving forward carefully to meet it.’

When asked about reducing staff, Colford acknowledged that layoffs were first raised as a possibility a year ago and remain a likelihood if the goal isn’t met.”

Calderone said that early estimates had predicted that as many as 400 employees would have to be cut in order for the AP to meet its goal. Around 100 veteran staffers have already taken the company’s buyout offer.

Update after the jump

Over at Silicon Alley Insider, former AP staffer Erin Carlson reaffirms Calderone’s layoff predictions and notes that AP staffers are freaking out. Carlson also paints a pretty grim picture of the office:

“In the New York city bureau, where the once-booming national desk is virtually empty due to regionalization of edit staff, the brass further trimmed the head count — and thus, the budget — with a voluntary retirement program and layoffs on the editorial and administration sides…The latest round of layoffs, which hit two weeks ago, affected admin staffers, leaving the AP with a single receptionist at headquarters.”

Sounds like lots of offices across New York City right now.

Update: The AP’s spokesman Colford said we were too quick to predict the size of potential layoffs. “Early estimates of as many as 400 jobs possibly being cut were based on the assumption that AP’s goal was to reduce its staff size by 10 percent,” he told FBNY. “However, AP’s goal, announced last November, is to reduce by 10 percent the size of its payroll — not the size of its staff — in 2009.”

Layoffs expected at AP by end of ’09 –Politico

AP Staffers Freak Out As Layoffs Loom –Silicon Alley Insider