Guild Unit Chair Among ‘New York Times’ Buyout Takers

By: Joe Strupp

When the final list of those taking The New York Times buyout is revealed, it will include none other than the paper’s top Newspaper Guild representative.

Art Mulford, who is unit chair of the Times unit of the New York Guild, said he is leaving the newspaper after 37 years. An editorial indexer, Mulford is 60 and believes the offer is the right move.

“It is a very generous buyout, especially for someone like me who has been here this long,” Mulford told E&P. “I get several years of pay and can put a few bucks away.”

Unit chair since 2006, Mulford’s term is up in Oct. 2010. But it is expected the guild would appoint a replacement to fill Muford’s post until the regular election next fall.

As for the rest of the buyout takers, Mulford said he was awaiting the final list and number, but believed it would be closer to 100 staffers than originally thought. Times officials have said 100 buyouts are needed to avoid layoffs.

“I think it might be a lot closer to what we wanted,” he said of the final number of buyouts. “We are a little bit more optimistic, so the layoffs might not be as bad.”

Times officials had no new information on the buyout numbers. Monday was the last day for those who wanted to apply for the voluntary retirements. Each person who takes the buyout then has 10 business days to change his or her mind, Mulford said.

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