BANG-EB Offers Employees Buyouts, Then Layoffs

Employees of the Contra Costa Times, the Oakland Tribune, and fourteen other Bay Area newspapers today got a cold welcome from the holiday weekend. An email from their publisher announced plans for “across-the-board” job cuts through voluntary buyouts and involuntary layoffs, according to an article published in the Times. President of Bay Area News Group-East Bay, or BANG-EB, John Armstrong cited the slumped real estate market and recession as responsible for decreased newspaper revenue. According to one employee who didn’t want to be named, the 1,100 employees have a week and a half to decide to apply for the buyout. By March 3, management will decide who to cut, and three days later people will start leaving. If not enough employees take the buyout option, they’ll start layoffs. The company is offering two weeks’ pay per every year they’ve been employed, with a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of 26 weeks. Romenesko has the full letter here.

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