News International in Wapping, London, Yui Mok/PA

News International offices in Wapping, London

Credit: Yui Mok/PA

The Times is to cut around 100 staff, one in seven, from the newspapers' editorial workforce, editor James Harding told staff today.

The bulk of the cuts will be to casual staff, publisher News International said, with voluntary redundancies sought.

As well at the cuts at the Times, 20 compulsory redundancies will be made from full-time staff at the Sunday Times, which is also cutting 30 per cent of its casual editorial workforce.

News International was unable to confirm the number of casual staff working for the Sunday Times, but the total staff cuts expected at the title are believed to be between 50 and 100.

No sections will be cut at the titles, nor will pagination be reduced, a spokesperson confirmed, and the cuts will not affect tabloid stablemate the Sun.

The Times is looking to reduce costs by 12 per cent, and the Sunday Times by 15 per cent.

A spokesperson for the company blamed the need for cuts on the rising cost of newsprint, driven up by increased demand in India and China.

Tough economic conditions, the need to invest in digital products and reinvest profits in innovation were also cited as reasons for the need to cut back the workforce.

Times Newspaper Ltd, parent company of the Times and Sunday Times,
reported a pre-tax loss of £45m for the two papers for the year to June 27 2010, compared with £87.7m in 2009.

News International cut 110 jobs in September from across the Times, Sunday Times and the Sun alongside a restructuring of the company's commercial departments.

An internal email from new chief executive Tom Mockridge at the time warned that there would also be "discussions" with editors about the use of casual staff as the company sought further efficiencies.

The Times, which introduced a paywall in July, announced this week that it had seen a 10 per cent increase in digital subscribers over the past three months, taking the number up to 111,036 at the end of September.

News International announced a management restructure in June, in the wake of the News of the World closure, with former Sunday Times managing editor Richard Case appointed group managing editor for the News of the World and the Sun and Anoushka Healy made group managing editor for The Times and The Sunday Times.

At the time Rebekah Brooks told staff the publisher was looking to "find ways of implementing efficiencies to editorial systems and processes and, where appropriate, we will find ways of introducing seven day working".

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