It begins: Time Inc., Newspaper Guild meet to talk layoffs

The guillotine has begun its descent at Time Inc. Sources at the publishing company (which is part of the same conglomerate as DailyFinance parent AOL) say executives have asked for an emergency meeting with representatives of the Newspaper Guild to discuss job eliminations. A Time Inc. spokeswoman declined to comment, but John Shostrom, chairman of the company's Guild unit, said the meeting will take place "soon." He said it was Time Inc. that called the meeting.

"They act, and we react," said Shostrom. "The Guild doesn't lay people off. We just fight back when they make proposals to lay people off."

It's been expected for some time that the publisher, whose titles include People, Sports Illustrated and Time, would implement cost-cutting measures, including a workforce reduction, in the fourth quarter. The New York Times says the company is aiming to reduce its overhead by a further $100 million after slimming its payroll by 600 jobs last year. As of Friday, a Guild representative told the Times he had yet to be notified of planned layoffs.

A Time Inc. insider says managing editors of the various company magazines met with human resources officials yesterday to talk about the planned downsizing. Tomorrow, memos will go out asking for volunteers to accept severance packages.

Time Warner, Time Inc.'s parent, will announce its third-quarter earnings tomorrow.

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