For MediaNews’ slipping Bay-area newspapers, the time for downsizing through attrition, targeted buyouts and other tools of managed decline is apparently over. CEO Dean Singleton is offering buyouts to, well, everyone.
Well, almost everyone: The move doesn’t include the company’s San Jose Mercury News, which will get “an unspecificed number” of presumably more surgical layoffs. But any of the other 1,100 workers at MediaNews’ Bay Area papers, (Oakland Tribune, The Contra Costa Times, 22 other area paper) can volunteer to get out (we’re hiring). The company doesn’t say how many volunteers it’s actually willing to let go.
Memo excerpt, via Romenesko, from Bay Area News Group publisher John Armstrong:
…so we’re announcing today that we’re extending to all employees a one-time voluntary separation opportunity, commonly known as a buy-out. Everyone except Operating Directors and me will get the opportunity to apply for a buy-out. Each of you will have the opportunity to apply. We are distributing a packet with all the details. If you don’t get one within 24 hours, by 2 p.m. Wednesday, please contact your department manager or Human Resources.
…Your getting a packet is not in any way a reflection on your performance or value to the company. Everyone is getting a packet.
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