The New York Times is packing up several floors of its operation and will rent out the empty space to make revenue, according to an email sent to staff this week.
Around 400 NYT writers, the letter says, will have to vacate their current work spaces (including corner offices) and consolidate. Their work areas will be “redesigned” to better maximize efficiency — and to allow the Times to lease the vacant newsrooms on least eight floors in its flagship building.
Executives Arthur Sulzberger and Mark Thompson, who author the memo, insist that the downsizing is merely a function of “modernization,” and that the purpose is to create an office that is more “of the moment.”
But they’re also clear that the current situation outpaces their revenue stream. The change will “generate significant rental income” they say, because it is “frankly, too expensive to occupy this many floors when we don’t truly need them.”
The Times already rents out much of its iconic New York building, and has been supplementing its bottom line with rental income. But like the typical AirBnB user, they’re just cleaning out a little extra space in the hopes that they can pad their pockets when things get really tough.
And the good news is, if they fail to rent out the space, they can always move back in when print media takes off again.