The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

BUYOUTS

Dear Members:  As you saw from Lisa’s email, the Company is again looking to reduce costs through a buyout. This one is being offered to Guild members in the newsroom who are at least 55 and have been with the Company at least 20 years. The offer: 26 weeks of pay plus 6 months of COBRA or a lump payment of $2,000 to those who don’t need that medical coverage. Of course any unused vacation and personal days are paid for in addition to that. There are 61 Guild members in the newsroom eligible for this buyout. The Company wants at least 12 people to take it. It has not said whether layoffs will follow if that number is not achieved. The application deadline is Aug. 12, with takers expected to leave by Aug. 24. The Company said it is also offering a buyout to non-union people in the newsroom, marketing and IT. It did not say how many of the 17 eligible there it hopes to get. The only reason provided for the need to cut in the newsroom was that it is “over-budget.” As always, we’re here to answer any questions. We have urged the Company to share with us any plans for revenue generation. Cutting is never an acceptable way to profitability — other than to hedge funds. In solidarity, Diane and Bill