Skip to comments.Tribune offers newsroom voluntary buyouts (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 01/17/2012 4:15:58 PM PST by abb
Looking to reduce costs as it continues to grapple with a changing media landscape and challenging economy, the Chicago Tribune told employees Monday it will offer an undisclosed number of voluntary buyouts in the newsroom.
Gerry Kern, senior vice president and editor of the Tribune, issued a memo outlining the voluntary separation program, which will be open to all editorial staff except top departmental management.
"We begin the year with a need to reduce costs as we face the continued financial pressures from a weak economy and structural changes in our industry," Kern said. "We are committed to taking action quickly, thoughtfully and fairly."
Kern appeared to not rule out future layoffs, saying "we prefer to meet our financial goals entirely through this voluntary plan, but other actions may be required."
The program will offer two weeks of base pay for the first year of service, and one week for every additional year completed. Those accepted for a buyout will likely exit the newsroom between Feb. 10 and Feb. 24. The company will make group outplacement and career counseling services available to those participating in the buyout program.
Factors determining whether an employee will be accepted for a voluntary buyout include seniority, depth at various positions and business objectives, according to the memo.
While newspaper companies broadly are struggling to transform their business models in the evolving digital age, Tribune Co., which owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other media properties, faces additional pressure as it seeks to emerge from a protracted bankruptcy. Last month, a federal judge pushed back hearings on plans to end the three-year proceedings until at least May, meaning the company won't likely emerge from bankruptcy until third quarter, at the earliest.
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ChiTrib and LA Times same owner. Thanks abb.
If it ever goes up for sale I’d like to see a Conservative purchase it.
I’ll donate $100 to their favorite charity if they fire Eric Zorn.
Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with George getting out of the cold pool. These people may be out of work, but if they have any talent at all they should be ok. The ones with zero talent can go work for the DNC.
From the buyout plan, a person with 15 years would receive about 4 months salary + unemployment. Plenty of cushion to find a new job.