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Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh) offering buyouts

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by moonlight, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. moonlight

    moonlight Member


    Trib Total Media offers buyouts for employees
    By The Tribune-Review

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Trib Total Media, which publishes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other newspapers in the region, announced a voluntary buyout for employees today.

    The move is typical in the newspaper industry these days and follows similar cost-saving measures by other companies, said president and chief executive Ralph Martin.

    Martin described the plan as "one of the most generous in any industry."

    It provides up to one year's pay, up to 36 months of health-care benefits and other payments to full-time, non-union employees who accept the offer.

    "We are facing the same revenue issues everybody else has," said Martin. He described the current retail sales and advertising environment as "soft."

    "With the economy as it is, we've taken other steps to control costs that would impact our employees the least," said the CEO. "The is just one of the ways we're trying to keep our costs in check relative to revenues and current economic conditions."

    The buyout is being extended to all 983 full-time, non-union workers at Trib Total Media.

    "We know it's one of the most generous because we've seen what many other companies have offered," Martin said. "One of the reasons we are making such a generous offer is that we want to provide a valuable benefit to valued employees.

    "Many of those who might be interested are long-time staffers who have served us well, and we appreciate the contributions they made to Trib Total Media's growth."

    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made two rounds of buyout offers in the last three months to cut its costs. The newspaper, which is owned by Block Communications of Toledo, Ohio, offered to buy out all 195 newsroom employees in mid-December. The company also raised the P-G's newsstand price from 50 cents to 75 cents on Dec. 15.

    The moves followed the P-G's initial offer to buy out only half its newsroom workers' jobs in early October. But only 23 accepted the initial, more generous offer, said a union official at the P-G. The first buyout offer included up to one year's pay and one year of health-care coverage.

    Trib Total Media has some 1,300 employees; 983 non-union, full-time employees are eligible for the offer.

    Trib Total Media has no specific acceptance target as to the number of employees or dollar amount involved in its offer, said Martin. He said the offer was proposed as a cost-savings measure to try to avoid more severe measures, such as layoffs.

    The company publishes seven daily editions -- the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Tribune-Review in Greensburg, Tarentum's Valley News Dispatch, Monessen's Valley Independent, McKeesport's Daily News, Kittanning's Leader-Times and Connellsville's Courier -- as well as 17 community weeklies.
  2. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    I thought this was Scaife's lovechild anyway and as such didn't need to make money.
  3. Good luck to anyone who's still there. Despite the public flogging that joint takes, I worked there with some good people who still care about journalism.
  4. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    I meant no reflection on those who work there . . . I just figured that numbers weren't as important to the suits there as they are some places. Good luck to anyone there.
  5. I wasn't knocking your post. That paper takes a lot of abuse in the Pittsburgh area and I want to make sure that the people don't get overlooked in everyone's zeal to skewer Scaife.
  6. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    So, is it the typical two weeks for every year you worked up to a year's worth of salary, or more like a year's worth of salary for anyone who takes the buyout?
  7. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Some very good people in the newsroom there.
  8. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine just told me the Johnstown paper - I think it might be a Scaife property but I could be mistaken -- had a second round of lay-offs in January and knocked seven more off the payroll. They had a first round in September.

    And the Post-Gazette just went through two rounds of buy-outs and didn't get the magic number so newbies there are wondering about their immediate future as well.

    And the Beaver County Times -- who Scaife had reportedly considered buying -- is in dire straights and have had at least three rounds of lay-offs.

    In other words, it is a tough time for Western Pennsylvania newspapers, like it is everywhere else in the country and there doesn't appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel.
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