Thursday, July 26, 2012

Voluntary Buyouts Offered to Long-time Detroit Journalists

Detroit skyline(Photo credit: Bernt Rostad)Voluntary buyout offers have been extended to veteran reporters at the Gannett Co-owned Detroit Free Press and the MediaNews Group-owned Detroit News, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP story, a spokesperson for the Detroit Media Partnership, which oversees the two dailies' finances, said fewer than half of the eligible 155 journalists are expected to receive the payout. To qualify, applicants must be at least 56 years old and have accrued 20 years of service at one of the Detroit dailies. Those who take the buyout will garner two weeks' pay for each year of service up to a maximum 52 weeks, and will continue to receive health insurance during the payout period.

Neither McLean, Va.-based Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper owner, nor Denver-headquartered MediaNews Group, publisher of The Denver Post and The Berkshire Eagle, among other newspapers, would address whether layoffs loom if the number of buyouts do not meet expectations, but given the current state of the industry, such a scenario wouldn't be surprising.

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