A Grim Halloween for The Wall Street Journal

The deadline to apply for a voluntary buyout offer announced today by EIC Gerard Baker is Oct. 31.

HalloweenNewsieCostumeIn a memo to Wall Street Journal staff, editor in chief Gerard Baker outlines that the deadline to apply for a 2016 voluntary-severance-benefit buyout package is 11:59 p.m. ET Oct. 31. E.g., the same day people around the world honor a costume tradition rooted in a bygone desire to dress up so as to be mistaken by returning ghosts for a fellow spirit.

The death knell for this print newspaper Gallows’ Eve is voluntarysep@dowjones.com. Baker announced that the buyout offer is open to news employees worldwide, on both the management and non-management sides. From today’s memo:

I regret of course the need for such a move and I appreciate deeply the dedication all of you continue to show through challenging times. Thanks to your hard work, the news department continues to produce world-class journalism every day and I’m confident this process is the right one to set us on the right footing for renewed growth in the years ahead.

When the worldwide downturn in print newspaper advertising and the growing digital dominance of Apple, Google and Facebook start affecting papers like the Journal, it’s a scary proposition indeed.

Update (Nov. 2):
Per CNN Money, the Newspaper Guild of New York has confirmed that 48 Journal staffers took the buyout.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Cuts Likely Coming to WSJ

Image via: halloweencostumes.com