About.com slashes staff, guide pay

The New York Times Company’s About.com has announced a 10% staff reduction and pay cuts for guides.

The 10% cut totals 22 employees, and come from ad sales, client services, marketing and editorial.

Guides will see a 7.5% cut in page view rates, and a drop in guaranteed base monthly payment from $725 to $675, although the $500 floor rate remains the same.

In a memo sent to guides, the company no surprisingly cited the recession as the driver behind the cuts

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As you know, About.com is an important part of an exciting, growing and competitive industry. Among our many assets are some of the best minds in the industry, a strong business model and expert content that helps millions of users manage the challenges of everyday life. Despite the deteriorating economic conditions that exist today, we remain confident about our future and are committed to creating lasting value for our customers, Guides, team members, and The New York Times Company and its shareholders.

In the short term however, we find ourselves in a position where we need to realign the organization to respond to the unprecedented economic turmoil that is affecting organizations large and small across the country and around the world.

Until recently, About.com was one of the few rosy entries in New York Times earning reports, but things started to change late last year along with the rest of the market. Even the Times can’t buck the massive decline in web advertising many are seeing at the moment.

Silicon Alley Insider has the full memos here.