The Philadelphia Daily News has sent letters to guild-represented newsroom employees telling them they are “eligible for participation” in a “voluntary separation program,” the Guild Reporter says.
The letter doesn’t say how many volunteers for the buyout the company will accept, nor does it say whether the newspaper will resort to layoffs if not enough volunteers step forward. Also, the letter does say the company reserves the right to refuse an application “based on legitimate business need” (read: you can be too valuable to take an easy retirement).
Buyout takers will receive one week of severance for every year of service, maxing out at 20 weeks.
Employees must accept the buyout by Sept. 21 (next Wednesday!) and will leave the company by Oct. 14.
The Philadelphia Daily News is owned by a group of creditors called the Philadelphia Media Network, which took over the struggling paper in Oct. 2010 after a long bankruptcy.
The paper’s new (as of January 2011) editor freed staffers “from the tyranny of the inverted pyramid.” He apparently hasn’t freed them from the need to make money.