Friday, April 16, 2004

The parent company of The Washington Times will bolster one of the newspaper’s sister publications and suspend two others under an internal restructuring announced yesterday.

A spokeswoman for News World Communications Inc. said the company will expand and strengthen operations at Tiempos del Mundo, a weekly Spanish-language newspaper published in 15 Latin American cities as well as the District and Miami.

The company will suspend the World & I, an academically-oriented general interest magazine, after its June edition. A total of 31 staffers will be laid off from the monthly magazine in the District, which has a circulation of about 10,000. Noticias del Mundo, a Spanish-language newspaper in New York, will lay off 38 staff members.

Insight on the News, a national newsmagazine published every other week with a circulation of about 30,000, will continue operations and 17 members will be laid off from its staff in the District.

“This is really about putting the company’s resources into the publications that are doing well” to respond to changing market conditions, said Diana Banister, a company spokeswoman.

Two small groups of staff members will stay on at Insight and World & I magazines to study “various future options,” she said.

News World Communications also publishes The Washington Times, The Washington Times National Weekly Edition and owns the United Press International wire service. “This restructuring of assets, an exercise that all corporations go through from time to time, does not involve The Washington Times. We are not affected by it in any way,” said Wesley Pruden, editor in chief of The Washington Times.

“We wish our colleagues all the best. They have done remarkable work that was important to many people,” he said.

The publishing industry has not fully recovered from an “advertising crash” after the 2001 recession and the September 11 terrorist attacks, said industry analyst Mark M. Edmiston. Tobacco and automobile advertising have been particularly sluggish, he said. “It’s really a mixed bag. How much you’re hurting depends on what [sector] you’re in, but no one is feeling good,” Mr. Edmiston said.

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