Thursday, July 12, 2007

Florida daily buries its own layoffs in news story

Here's something you don't see every day.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune published a report on recent cutbacks at numerous American dailies. Nothing unusual there. But wait. Check out this paragraph, the fourth:

The Herald-Tribune Media Group announced this week that it is offering a voluntary buyout for its newsroom employees age 50 or older. The newspaper has already cut 21 positions from the newsroom, eliminated daily TV listings and the Sunday business section, and reduced the size of its sports and TV sections.

That's right. Right in the middle of a report about the declining fortunes of other newspapers in Florida and elsewhere, The Herald-Tribune subtly throws in its own bad news. But that's not the worst part. As Editor & Publisher observed, you have to go deeper into the story to find out more about the paper's cutbacks.

Fifty-eight Herald-Tribune newsroom employees are eligible for the buyout.

Newspapers are cagy about acknowledging how much they have cut, especially in newsrooms, concerned that the cuts will alienate readers.

I'll say.

}}}full story{{{

UPDATE: Poynter Online has the complete memo Herald-Tribune publisher Diane McFarlin sent staffers about the proposed buyouts here.