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Milwaukee buyouts offered, layoffs pending

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Matt1735, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

    From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's website:

    Journal Sentinel Inc. said today it is offering employee buyouts in the hope of reducing its workforce by 35 to 50 people.

    The company said if not enough employees take the offer, an "involuntary program" will be considered.

    Elizabeth (Betsy) Brenner, president and chief operating officer of the publishing group of Journal Communications (JRN) Inc., said the employee reductions are necessary because of falling revenue. In recent years, the Journal Sentinel and other newspapers have been losing revenue to Internet-based advertising. She said gains in online advertising at the newspaper aren't strong enough yet to replace traditional advertising revenue.

    "It is never easy to call for staff cutbacks, but we must continue to align our cost structure with the realities of reduced revenues in the newspaper industry," Brenner said in a statement to employees.

    Effective immediately, full-time employees of Journal Sentinel Inc. with 10 years of service or more as of Oct. 26 are eligible to apply. The company said it is anticipates that between 35 and 50 employees, or 3.5% to 5% of the Journal Sentinel's full-time staff, will accept the buyout offer. That number may change depending on the number of employees who apply and are accepted. The separation date is on or about Nov. 15.

    The buyouts will include cash severance and temporary health care coverage.

    A memo on the voluntary separation program distributed to newsroom employees said participants will receive two weeks of pay for every full year of service and two months of paid medical care benefits, not including dental and vision.

    Non-newsroom employees would receive 1 1/2 weeks of current base salary for every year of service and six months of paid health benefits, also not including dental and vision.
  2. MGoBlue

    MGoBlue Member

    I feel bad for anyone entering journalism these days. RUN! DO SOMETHING ELSE!
  3. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Funny formula: You get an extra half-week of pay for every year worked, if it was in the newsroom. But you get six months of health care vs. two months if you worked in other departments. Someone really put a lot of time and thought into this plan.

    Bet they fall way short of volunteers and have to drop the ax.
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Joe, guessing the newsroom pay package is the way it is because of Guild concerns.
  5. When I lived by the lake, both papers were solid, vibrant entities.
    This makes me sadder than most of these stories.
    Nice package, too. Six months of medical. No dental. No vision.
    They should give that away with a set of fucking jelly glasses.
  6. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    That's six months if you didn't work in the newsroom. TWO months if you did. Hell, you can get sick and have to wait two months to get a doctor's appointment, by which time your insurance has lapsed. Nice.
  7. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    I'll bet they get at least 100 people to put in for this. You watch.
  8. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Too bad it's not like the airlines seeking volunteers to give up overbooked seats. Then maybe the company would bid up its buyouts: "OK, we're now offering three weeks per year worked and four -- that's right, four -- months of health coverage!"

    So many people are willing to bail out of this business that the beancounters never have to sweeten the deal.
  9. boots

    boots New Member

    The ship be taking on a lot of water captain.
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The buyout they're offering is very low compared to what some of the other papers have offered...
  11. boots

    boots New Member

    It's Milwaukee mizzou.
  12. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    But this is how they get the oldsters out, since you'd need to be there 26 years or longer to get a year's pay. Age discrimination, only subtle.
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