Oct 13, 2009

Buyouts at the Star-Ledger

Yet another Newhouse newspaper has offered buyouts employees as a way to shrink the payroll. The Star-Ledger in New Jersey wants 50 people to "voluntarily" leave their jobs to avoid the possibility of layoffs, the New York Times reports.

Here's a portion of the memo from Publisher George Arwady:

Full-time, non-represented employees can apply to receive 2 weeks’ pay for every year of completed service, capped at 26 weeks’ pay, along with medical coverage for the severance period. The newspaper reserves the right to reject applications based upon business needs.

We sincerely hope that we meet our staffing goals through this voluntary buyout offer. If we do not, we will need to resort to other ways of reducing our employee costs, which could include involuntary layoffs.
The paper eliminated 150 positions through buyouts last year.

Elsewhere in the Newhouse chain (aka Advance Publications)...

The New Orleans Times-Picayune recently made all employees eligible for a buyout package equal to one year's salary.

The Oregonian's interim publisher released a buyout plan last month and hinted strongly that layoffs would follow if too few people took the offer. To wit: "If a significant number of you accept the offer it could minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs down the line." The interim publisher did not say how many jobs were on the line but set a deadline of November 9 for employees to accept a buyout.

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