Plain Jane ‘buyouts’ at the Plain Dealer

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is offering buyout packages to newsroom and business office employees. And they are taking them. With about 1,450 employees, The Plain Dealer is one of Cleveland’s largest employers. The newsroom’s 370 employees and a number of business office employees received letters last month outlining buyout packages that would provide severance pay, health care coverage, retirement benefits and outplacement services.
 The Plain Dealer sweetens the deal for employees who are 50 or older with at least 20 years’ service as of Dec. 31 — they could receive 2½ years’ pay and health care coverage.

Other employees could receive two weeks’ pay and health care for every full year of service. About 65 of the newsroom’s employees accepted the company’s offer to leave voluntarily in exchange for a severance package.

Next come the involuntary ‘muscle’ movements.

The Sac Bee Sacks it’s Entire Customer Service Circulation Department (Last Month)

In the era of The Graduate — the line of advice given to Dustin Hoffman was “plastics.” Today the line is “outsourcing.”

This morning, the Sacramento Bee has told employees they decided to outsource their circulation customer service call center operations to West Corporation. This means that they are closing a full-service call center and creating a small support department that will function as a liaison between The Sacramento Bee and West’s customer service operation.

This is McClatchy’s way of showing shareholders they may have paid too much for Knight Ridder papers, but they are willing to cut costs. There will have to be a lot more cuts to make up for billions of dollars. The matter of customer service, with a strange accent won’t set will with the tradionalists around Sacramento.

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