Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Buyouts offered at BANG-EB papers * *

Except for Operating Directors and the Publisher, all employees at the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, San Jose Mercury News and the other 21 dailies and weeklies in the Bay Area News Group - East Bay are being invited to apply for voluntary buyouts. Announcements regarding the need to reduce costs were made today. The company is looking to save a dollar amount, not a specific number of jobs. If it can't reach that number with a buyout, there will be layoffs. "The number of jobs that will be eliminated will be significant." Read the memo here. Also, at the Mercury News, editorial members won't be offered buyouts but will face direct layoffs.

The Operating Directors and The Publisher rolled up their sleeves, crunched the numbers, tweaked projections and "...reached the unavoidable conclusion that we must reduce our operating costs, and we must do so quickly. And we cannot accomplish what we need to accomplish without reducing the size of our workforce."

How can a media company put out a quality newspaper without the staff necessary to gather and produce real news that serves the community? Who will read — let alone buy — papers produced on shoestring budgets and filled with wire fillers and fluff pieces?

* Economic woes lead to job cuts at East Bay newspaper publisher — Mercury News
* 1,300 employees at San Francisco-area newspapers offered buyouts; layoffs may follow — International Tribune

No comments: