Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Plain Dealer to cut more news staff

The Plain Dealer is cutting even more news staff, it announced yesterday. It'll have 260 newsroom employees by years' end, down from 372 two years ago -- a 30 percent cut. Publisher Terry Egger says the paper's profit is much smaller than expected because of declining ad revenue.

If 38 employees don't leave by Nov. 20, the PD will lay people off -- a step Egger used to dismiss as alien to the company's culture.

The paper is offering two weeks' severance pay for every year an employee has worked there, but no health coverage. That's a less attractive offer than in 2006, when younger and non-veteran employees who left got the same severance pay plus benefits, while workers over age 50 with 20 years at the paper got a generous buyout: 2 1/2 years' salary and benefits.

Some links to our coverage of the Plain Dealer:
-Mike Roberts' September column on what Cleveland loses as the paper shrinks
-our July critique of the PD's new, smaller redesign
-my March profile of editor Susan Goldberg
-my January 2007 article "The New Dealer," which described the state of the PD as it began adjusting to the Internet era

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