Monday, July 23, 2012

Detroit | Freep, DMP and News offer buyouts

Detroit Free Press Editor Paul Anger sent the following memo to employees this afternoon, according to one of my readers. It follows his earlier warning that newsroom staffing would need to shrink.

Free Press Folks,

This is to make you aware that the Free Press is offering a voluntary Early Retirement Opportunity Program (EROP) to some employees who are at least 56 years old and have completed 20 years of service as of June 30, 2012. The program is also being announced at the Detroit Media Partnership and The Detroit News.

The early retirement offer to Free Pressers is completely voluntary and is being made across all bargaining-unit job classifications and NBU job groups to employees who meet the eligibility requirements. For some jobs, we do expect to limit the number of employees we can accept into the EROP, based on the needs of the newsroom and the demands of producing a robust report on all platforms.

The offer includes two weeks of pay per completed year of service, with a maximum of 52 weeks. The payment will be made by continuing the person’s salary through the number of eligible weeks. During that period, health insurance will also continue, on the same basis as that of an active employee.

Those eligible to participate in the EROP will receive a letter within the next day. Eligible employees will have 45 days to consider whether they desire to be included in the EROP. At the end of that period, we will review the list of employees who have offered to be included in the program and will notify employees whether their offers have been accepted.

Free Pressers who have contributed much over the years may find this program an attractive way to make retirement possible, and we’re pleased to make it available. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources.

Thanks, Paul

[Updated at 7:13 a.m. ET July 24.] Crain's Detroit Business says the offer is going to 155 employees. Earlier,  Deadline Detroit said the offer was made to 40 Freep employees and 31 at the News. It didn't give a figure for the DMP, however.

19 comments:

  1. From Poynter: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/182418/detroit-free-press-news-offer-buyouts-to-71-staffers/

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  2. Thanks for giving the best years of your life. For this, you're given "the golden boot!"

    There is a special place in hell for GCI...

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  3. Looks like 84 eligible at the DMP, Jim.

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  4. If you take this offer, get your 401K and pension( if you have one) out asap. It takes awhile. Also read in detail any offer to get life insurance. If you don't send in all the required forms the first time, the ife insurance company will charge you a higher rate. T

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  5. 6;43 it's not mandatory. What's your beef? You don't have to take it. Do you think Gannett is the only company to offer this? What's the problem? Detroit is the worse performing market in the USA. You're lucky to still be in business. Keep paying that dues.

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  6. This is the same 56/20 buyout offer made earlier this year at other, smaller GCI papers.

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  7. If Gannett had any sense of real Journalism they would discuss and investigate both sides of a topic but instead they view all articals from the liberal anti buisnes aspect,,, That my friends is why print journalism and Gannett is DYING

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  8. Fuck you Gannett....

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    Replies
    1. Fuck you right back

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  9. Good luck Freep when the page cuts happen. No more full page pics or stories... and no more multi-Sunday sections.

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  10. Why do we even bother with Detroit? All the money has left the town, the mayor wants to bulldoze 10,000 houses - why don't we just turn the keys over to some squatters and get rid of the boat anchor the DMP/DN/DFP has become.

    Battle Creek is currently publishing more Detroit news anyway - and more often.

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  11. 6:43 You are implying that the DMP is a looser because of its unions. In reality the DMP became a looser because of people like Vega Jaske and Ellwood. It also doesn't help that Detroit has a fucked up city with no direction.

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  12. 6:16 I am not implying it I am saying it. Unions ruin companies plain and simple. Detroit is Detroit because of it's Union history. Keep paying that dues.

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  13. 6:43 You must be one of the super people in the world. Everything you got you earned on your own. You should run for president. You and Nit-Wit Mitt would make a good slate.

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  14. 12:22, aside from being clueless, you can't spell. How are the kind of kiss-ass pieces that Gannett business pages run "liberal"? You can call them many bad names, but liberal is not one of them.

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  15. In my opinion, the Freep went downhill under Paul Anger as publisher and Stephen Henderson controlling editorial. Start with those two. When Heath and Ron were in charge, the paper was worth reading. Now, its sports, nightclub photos and a little bit of news. Henderson's editorials are amateur hour.

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  16. 11:22 That's not fair: You're discounting the Pulitzer Prize the Freep won in 2009 for its excellent work exposing the city's corrupt mayor.

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  17. wow wonder if they will write about this like ficano

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  18. @ 12:22

    You're right. There's a lot more money in telling political partisans what they want to hear as opposed to telling the truth. Long live Fox News! Viva el Murdoch! Seig...

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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