Newsweek Finds Plenty Of Buyout Takers: 111 Leaving Mag

What’s the best way to shrink overstaffed print media companies? Some publishers prefer to slim down over time, dropping a few staffers here and there. We hear, for instance, that Time Warner’s (TWX) Time Inc.  will be taking this approach throughout 2008. Or you can just buy out a big chunk of your staff at once.

That’s the gambit Newsweek tried this spring, and it worked too well, Radar says: 111 workers have taken buyouts, which is more than the magazine had anticipated. Why not? These look like relatively humane terms:

146 staffers were offered the chance to leave the magazine, with as much as two years of their current salary as a departing bonus, depending on their age and length of service. The package also includes pension sweetners and the chance to continue health insurance coverage until the age of 65. More staffers than expected accepted the offer, so at least some their jobs are likely to be filled by new hires. But dozens of positions will be eliminated permanently.

…Newsweek is the third major news organisation to offer buyouts to scores of staffers this year, following the lead of The New York Times, and Newsweek’s sister publication, The Washington Post. This is the second major buyout at Newsweek in six years.

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