ProJo poised for another buyout
In years past, the Providence Journal has avoided layoffs through multiple rounds of buyouts. Now, with parent Belo Corporation planning to cut 14 percent of its workforce, the Providence Newspaper Guild says management is offering buyouts to cut up to 54 union positions (h/t Romenesko). This is more bad news for the local media, and those who rely upon it.
The Journal is offering voluntary buyouts to about 260 Guild-covered workers as part of a corporate-wide reduction in force announced today by the A.H. Belo Company.
The Journal buyout program targets 20 job titles that the company has determined it are overstaffed. The company is seeking to cut up to 54 workers by September 12.
The buyout program provides 1.5 weeks pay for the first 15 consecutive years or service and 2.5 weeks pay for each year of service over 15. The maximum severance payout is 40 weeks. In addition employees taking the buyout will be given a payment to cover six months of medical insurance.
Employees who work 22.5 or more hours per week will be eligible for the buyouts. Employees who work less than 22.5 hours a week or whose job title is not among the positions the company has labeled as overstaffed are not eligible. Positions excluded from the buyouts include: Pre-publishing, credit office, house keeping and most online jobs.
If the program is over subscribed, the senior employees in each job title will be given the buyout. But if it is undersubscribed, the company will review the situation to determine if additional cuts are needed.