‘Denver Post’ Aims to Cut 37

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The Denver Post on Monday detailed buyout offers to older employees in an effort to cut 37 positions and costs as the industry deals with falling advertising revenue.

The offers were made to full-time employees age 50 or older as of June 15, and the newspaper was accepting applications from 12 nonunion employees and 25 union-covered employees, Editor Greg Moore said.

Those with 20 or more years with the company would receive a year’s pay, while everyone else would receive two weeks per year of service. Those with at least 10 years with the company would receive two years of medical insurance, while those with less experience would receive one year of subsidized medical insurance, Moore said.

Staffers were told there could be layoffs if the targeted savings aren’t met.

“It’s impossible to say whether we’ll reach the target number,” Moore said. “We’ve tried to be as honest as we can about the state of the industry that requires expense reductions and the fact that there are other steps to help us get there if people don’t take the buyout.”

The Denver Newspaper Agency, which handles business operations of The Denver Post and the rival Rocky Mountain News, saw net income drop sharply in 2006 along with a dip in advertising revenue.

Net income was $18.5 million in 2006, down from $47.2 million in 2005 and $71.1 million reported in 2004, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is the second time within two years that The Post has offered buyouts. The first round was offered to all employees regardless of age or tenure.

In March, the Rocky Mountain News offered voluntary separation plans in an effort to trim 20 employees and cut costs.

Though online advertising at U.S. newspapers rose 31.5 percent to $2.7 billion last year, overall print advertising fell 1.7 percent to $46.6 billion, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

The Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times also disclosed plans Monday to reduce their staffs by as many as a combined 250 jobs through a mix of leaving vacant positions open, attrition, buyouts and layoffs.

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