Newspapers offering buyouts is beginning to become quite common. The latest to offer staffers a paid way out the door is The Washington Post, which has offered buyouts in the past. Per a memo from Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli, only a limited amount of people will be able to accept the offer, since WaPo can “absorb staffing changes better in some areas than in others.”
The announcement unfortunately comes the same day as this Forbes story, which details how WaPo missed out on becoming one of the earliest investors in Facebook. That’s some bad timing.
In those departments where we do offer the buyout, there will be caps on the number of people who can participate, in order to moderate the impact and preserve our competitiveness in core coverage areas. In addition, we may turn down some volunteers if we feel their departure would impair our journalism. That said, it is important that we achieve real savings.
Any measure like this is difficult. But we believe this approach is a sensible and effective way of addressing the economic forces affecting our industry.