Washington Post offers buyouts to newsroom staff in effort to reduce costs

February 8, 2012

The Washington Post announced Wednesday that it would extend buyout offers to newsroom staff members in an effort to reduce the paper’s payroll. It is the fifth in a series of buyouts that have helped reduce the size of the staff by more than a third over the past decade as circulation and advertising revenue have fallen.

“Our objective is a limited staff reduction that won’t affect the quality, ambition or authority of our journalism,” Marcus Brauchli, The Post’s executive editor, said in a memo to the staff.

He said the buyout would not be offered to every section of the paper and that The Post would “turn down some volunteers if we feel their departure would impair our journalism.” In a meeting with staff, he said the maximum number of buyouts would be capped at around four dozen out of about 600 newsroom staff members.

The terms of the buyout were not announced and are still being negotiated with the Newspaper Guild. Brauchli said The Post would still make “tactical hires so that even as we get smaller, we get stronger.”

Steven Mufson covers energy and other financial news.
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