‘Rocky’ Seeks 20 Buyouts — As 24 at ‘Globe’ Take Them

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By: E&P Staff and The Associated Press

The Boston Globe accepted 24 buyout applications in the newsroom, according to a memo from Editor Martin Baron, posted today on the paper?s Web site.

Because more staffers applied for the package than anticipated, the paper will avoid layoffs.

Baron wrote that some employees who wanted to take a buyout were not accepted due to their skill sets and difficult-to-fill positions. Those with the title of section editor, department head or above were not accepted.

In January, Baron called to reduce his staff by 17 positions in the newsroom, two opinion pages positions, and the attrition of unfilled slots. Since there were enough buyout applications, Baron plans to fill some positions that were previously frozen.

The Rocky Mountain News, meanwhile, offered buyouts to 50 workers Wednesday in an effort to trim 20 employees and cut costs, editor and publisher John Temple said.

Voluntary separation plans were offered to 50 employees age 55 and older with 10 years of service with E.W. Scripps Co., no matter the position. The company said it would accept 20 buyouts, based on seniority at the newspaper.

Overall print advertising at U.S. newspapers fell 1.7 percent last year to $46.6 billion, outweighing a 31.5 percent increase in online advertising to $2.7 billion, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

The Denver Newspaper Agency has offered buyouts and has had layoffs, Temple said. The agency publishes the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post.

“The Rocky Mountain News has withstood the economic pressures for a long time,” Temple said. “The conditions are such that we felt the responsible thing to do was take steps in the most respectful way possible to reduce our costs.”

Temple declined to discuss how much the company expected to save with the cuts.

He did not discuss what would happen if fewer than 20 people accepted the buyouts.

“There are no current plans for layoffs,” he said, adding that attrition is one way to reduce staff.

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