In an internal email, GateHouse Media CEO Kirk Davis said the company is offering voluntary severance to “reduce costs” and employees would begin to leave starting Sept. 16.
The affected publications include the Providence Journal, the Columbus Dispatch andthe Rockford Register Star.
“While we continue to make progress toward our goal of being revenue-positive by 2018 and year-to-date our revenue has improved and outperformed our industry peers, we continue to see revenue declines and must align our expenses accordingly,” the email stated, according to a report from local Illinois paper The Rock River Times.
Eligible employees have to sign up for the severance program no later than Monday, Aug. 29. Employees will get one week of pay for every year at a GateHouse Media publication, with up to 13 weeks of pay. Employees with 20 years or more time with GateHouse will be capped at 17 weeks of pay.
If not enough employees leave the company, dismissals could be next, according to a Columbus Business First report.
GateHouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Sept. 2013, citing $433.7 million in assets against $1.3 billion in debt. New Media Investment Group Inc. acquired GateHouse in Nov. 2013.Even legacy publishers like TheNew York Times are offering buyouts amid declines in revenue. In July, 50 Times staffers took a buyout. Unfortunately, there have been reports that the company hoped more editors had taken the voluntary severance offer and the NYT may offer another round of buyouts.
The NYT is hoping to cut staff by about 200 by the end of the year.