‘Boston Globe’ Seeks 50 Newsroom Buyouts

By: E&P Staff

The Boston Globe is seeking 50 newsroom employees to take buyouts, the paper announced today.

Both guild members and management are eligible for the package. If not enough people come forward, the Globe will resort to layoffs.

“We have had to adjust before to a difficult financial picture, and we now must do it again,” Globe Editor Martin Baron wrote in a memo to employees.

The memo follows:

To all:

As you know, our industry is facing unprecedented financial pressures, most recently because of economic conditions that are the worst in many decades.

We have had to adjust before to a difficult financial picture, and we now must do it again.

Toward the end of this month, we will be providing you with details of a voluntary resignation program to be offered to full-time exempt and Guild employees of the Globe and Boston.com’s editorial operations. We anticipate reducing the newsroom staff by up to 50 full-time employees.

While we hope to reach the goal through voluntary departures, we will resort to layoffs of exempt and Guild employees if they become necessary. Any Guild layoffs would be carried out in accordance with the contract. The contract permits layoffs out of seniority under certain circumstances.

As in past voluntary reduction programs, management reserves the right to turn down employees based on business needs. The goal is to have the staff reductions completed within the next few months.

When the details of the voluntary reduction program become available, Mary Jane Wilkinson and I will be holding a series of meetings to answer your questions, as we have in the past.

All of us appreciate what a supremely dedicated and talented staff we have here, and we know the ache of seeing admired colleagues leave our newsroom. We also know the challenges of producing a high-quality newspaper and website when there are fewer of us to do the work.

Once again, we will have to assess everything we do. And so we will move promptly to evaluate a wide range of options. Not every option we review will come to pass, but reductions of this magnitude obviously will require us to make fundamental changes. Your ideas are welcome.

We have demonstrated repeatedly that we are a resilient bunch, capable of superb journalism even as we rethink our operations, reinvent our product, and refine our mission. We are being tested again, and a resourceful newsroom like ours can meet the test.


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