The Philadelphia Inquirer offered voluntary buyouts to 55 guild members in sales, Poynter learned via a memo on Friday. Another voluntary buyout offer was made to full-time newsroom employees 65 and over after some employees expressed interest in such an offer.
The memo, from publisher and CEO Lisa Hughes, notes the Inquirer lost 25% of sales revenue, or $13.5 million, between 2017 and 2019, “without a significant reduction in sales staffing. So this move is part of a reorganization that was planned and aligns with our strategy for an integrated, multi-platform sales organization. Unfortunately, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will mean an additional estimated revenue loss of 20% this year and have accelerated this reorganization and necessitated more severe cuts than originally anticipated. If about 20 people do not voluntarily apply for the (voluntary separation program) in the Sales department, layoffs on the sales team are likely to follow.”