Saturday, June 9, 2007

Chron starts offering buyouts to reporters

The Chronicle has begun the process of offering buyouts to reporters and photographers as part of paper's plan to eliminate 100 jobs — 25 percent — of its newsroom. The first 20 cut were managers, and on Friday the managers who survived started going from desk to desk, tapping on the shoulders of the rank-and-file newsroom staffers being offered buyouts.

Here are two accounts — from the East Bay Express (headlined "Bloodbath at the Chron") and Richard Prince's online column Journal-isms at the Maynard Institute.

Prince quotes Chron's Guild boss Michael Cabanatuan as saying 12 or 13 employees were escorted to the human resources department and offered two weeks' pay for every year of service, in addition to a continuation of medical benefits for a maximum of one year. The employees were accompanied by the appropriate deputy managing editor. A Guild representative was present if requested.

Cabanatuan also told Prince the employees were told there would be layoffs if not enough people took the buyouts.

Science writer Keay Davidson and environmental reporter Glen Martin were among those who agreed to take buyouts, according to the EBX.

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