The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


Dear Friends:
We’re coming to you with news that no doubt will be nerve-wracking to some while, to others, a welcome opportunity.
The Company tomorrow will be extending a buyout offer to all 55 employees in our advertising department. If at least 20 do not voluntarily apply for it, layoffs in advertising will follow.
The buyout offer includes up to 26 weeks of severance and up to 26 weeks of health coverage with a cash-out option for those who do not need the health coverage. That will range from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on years of service.
At the request of the Guild, the Company has extended a buyout opportunity to members in the newsroom who are at least 65. That buyout is offered simply as a courtesy because some in the newsroom have been asking about buyout options. However, there are NO PLANS FOR LAYOFFS associated with the newsroom buyouts.
We asked the Company whether furloughs could be an acceptable alternative to advertising layoffs. No, was the answer. We also asked if the financial wins in our new contract have necessitated any of these cuts. Again, the answer was no, and forgoing them would not reverse the planned cuts, the Company said.
Reducing the size of our advertising staff is part of a reorganization that was planned, the Company said. COVID-19 has accelerated it and has necessitated more severe cuts than originally anticipated. The coronavirus has hit us hard, essentially eradicating our revenue-producing events and causing advertising sales to plummet.
The Company assures that it has a plan to keep us positioned to emerge from this unprecedented health and economic crisis, a plan, we’re told, that Lisa will be sharing with us soon. That plan envisions a more streamlined sales operation that involves more consolidated advertising functions and a greater focus on digital product and sales efforts, we were told today.
To those in advertising, details of the buyout offer will be emailed to you tomorrow. People in the newsroom got theirs yesterday.
We are available for any questions at any time, and promise complete transparency when it comes to anything this Company tells us about current conditions and future plans.
Most importantly, take care of yourselves and your families.
In solidarity,
Diane and Bill