Time Inc. Buyout Offer Expires in Week

With a week to go before a buyout offer expires, only one Time Inc. staffer is known to have volunteered to take the severance package, whose benefits generally are less generous than those under The Newspaper Guild’s previous contract, union officials said.
Some of the company’s biggest magazines—those that are covered by The Newspaper Guild—have asked for at least 83 people to take buyouts as part of a restructuring and downsizing. Volunteers were asked to come forward by Dec. 1 to avoid involuntary layoffs. Veteran writer Sports Illustrated Jack McCallum was reported to take a buyout.
Under the previous contract—which was in effect during the company’s last big downsizing, in January 2007—employees who took a buyout or were laid off would get three weeks’ pay per year of service, up to $25,000, plus notice pay based on years of service.
Under the current contract, employees would get two weeks’ severance pay per year of service, for up to 52 weeks, and no notice pay. Instead, bonus pay is awarded but only after 20 years’ service.
A company spokesperson said Time Inc. would not comment on any aspect of the severance packages.
Sports Illustrated has said it is looking for about 40 Guild and non-Guild volunteers from the editorial side; in addition, the magazine is asking for volunteers from the copydesk to accept reduced hours. People and Time magazines are seeking about 23 and 20 volunteers, respectively. Fortune and Money are also looking for an unspecified number of volunteers.
Elsewhere, Time Inc. has been making moves to cut its headcount by about 600, or roughly 6 percent of its worldwide workforce of 10,200.