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Star-Ledger N.J.: buyout of 200 or bust

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by inkfingers, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. inkfingers

    inkfingers Member

    From The Star-Ledger of Newark website (nj.com) moments ago:

    The Star-Ledger today announced a large-scale buyout to all non-union workers with the goal of reducing the staff by at least 200 employees.

    Publisher George E. Arwady said if 200 employees don't agree to the buyout and if the paper cannot reach agreements with unions representing drivers and mailers meant to reduce costs, the paper will be sold. He said the deadline for reaching both of those targets was Oct. 1.

    The offer comes at a time when the newspaper industry is reeling from plunging advertising revenues linked to a troubled economy and sea changes in the way information is disseminated.

    The offer was announced to grim-faced employees by Arwady at the paper's headquarters in Newark. He characterized the paper as being "on life support" and urged employees to consider the offer for the good of fellow employees.

    "This is a matter of simple survival," he said.
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Wow! Just fucking unbelievable.
  3. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Since The Times of Trenton merged many operations (including pagination and editing of wire copy) with The Star-Ledger two years ago, this also effects The Times.

    The Times needs 25 employees throughout the company to accept the buyout offer or it ceases publication. If The Times meets its buyout target but The Star-Ledger doesn't meet the two terms posted in the article above they will look to sell the two papers together as a package deal.

    Note: The 25 is spread across all departments (advertising, circulation, newsroom, etc.) and there are only about 110 full-time employees at the paper as a whole.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    They're messing with the paper that Tony Soprano gets every morning?
  5. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    "The paper will be sold"? "Life support"?

    They're bluffing. Who would buy?

    This is the thanks staff gets for agreeing not to be represented.
  6. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Exactly what I was thinking. Upper management must feel like that's the best way to threaten a strong union shop. (That assuming, of course, that Newark is a strong union shop.)
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    A newpaper owner in Ohio was sniffing around to buy our paper recently (or so I heard through the grapevine). There are buyers out there. Let's not kid ourselves.
  8. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Maybe so. But there are people sniffing about dealer lots all the time.

    How many of those are buying, especially when they see nothing but lemons and no protection via lemon laws after more extensive research?
  9. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Buy low, sell high.
  10. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    I believe the only union employees at the Ledger are the pressmen/mailroom workers and the truck drivers.
  11. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    That's why we have the good people in Jersey chiming in ... to save me from my idiocy.

    But still the question remains: Who will take the paper under the circumstance of being on "life support" and furthermore has employees who won't willingly jump off the train for a couple of weeks' pay and a month or two of extra medical bennies? It's difficult enough to find willing buyers for healthy, profitable publications given the current state of the economy.

    The good companies aren't buying - see McClatchy.
    The vultures are strapped - see Dean Singleton.
    The others are learning the hard way and are too busy slashing and burning - see Sam Zell.
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Being right down the street from the other daily in this craptastic Jersey city, a big piece of me is expecting the boss to offer buyouts and such.
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