October 13, 2009

Newhouse news: Star-Ledger needs 50 to go via buyouts or layoffs

An expected memo went out to another batch of employees working for companies in the Advance Publications fold. Today's recipients are the employees of the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, where editor Jim Willse recently announced his retirement.

It follows an offer made to employees at The Oregonian and the Times Picayune in New Orleans.

To: Full-Time Employees
From: George Arwady

Consistent with my updates to you, the revenue situation at our newspaper has worsened this year, and we expect a further significant revenue decline next year.

We are working on the budget for Y2010, and it is clear that we must reduce our staff significantly to offset the continuing steep decline in revenue. My best estimate is that the full-time workforce must be reduced by at least 50 people.

Accordingly, we are announcing another voluntary buyout offer. 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.


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