Monday, August 11, 2008

McClatchy's Herald-Leader to offer another round of buyouts -- the 3rd round in 4 months

The Lexington Herald-Leader has begun another round of buyout offers to full time employees -- the third round of layoffs in 4 months.
The Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday offered a voluntary buyout program to its full-time employees.

Noting that the newspaper industry's traditional business model is undergoing dramatic change, Publisher Timothy M. Kelly said in a memo to employees that “the economy continues to worsen, and we must make the painful choice to reduce expenses further.”

Kelly said it is premature to set a target for the number of buyouts or to say whether layoffs will follow if a certain number of employees fail to leave voluntarily.

“We may limit the number of voluntary applications we accept given business needs or to ensure that no one area of the operation is unfairly impacted,” he said in the memo.

“We will evaluate the number of employees leaving under the voluntary program; how work will be streamlined, reallocated and consolidated; and what additional expense reductions may still be necessary. Then we will determine if additional staff reductions must be made through an involuntary severance program.”

Those accepting the buyout will receive severance pay and a continuation of health benefits. The last day for most accepting the package would be Aug. 29.

In June, the Herald-Leader downsized its work force through buyouts and layoffs. It went from the equivalent of almost 417 full-time employees in May to about 382 in July.

Kelly said the Herald-Leader continues to be profitable, although “we are not as profitable as we have been in the past.”

On Bloody Monday, the Herald-Leader announced it would cut 17 positions. Approximately 15 employees took a buyout during May.
Previous related:
McClatchy's Bloody Monday update
McClatchy's Lexington Herald-Leader offers buyouts

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