In another blow to the local newspaper industry, the San Francisco Chronicle just announced 125 employees will be cut through voluntary buyouts. The buyouts, which will effect all departments and include management, will be officially offered on Monday, August 4.
The buyout packages will be similar to those offered to employees last year. They include two weeks pay per year of service, with a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of 52 weeks.
Last year, the Chronicle laid off about 100 employees of which about 70 were members of the Northern California Media Workers Guild.
"They're cutting deep into muscle, sinew and bone now," says Guild representative Carl Hall. "It seems like the entire industry is in a death spiral."
Newspapers across the country have been steadily cutting staff and reducing coverage for the last three years. In the Bay Area, the San Jose Mercury and the Bay Area News Group papers, which include the Contra Costa Times, the Oakland Tribune and the Fremont Argus have made deep cuts to their newsroom staffs.
"It looks like the end for print journalism and it's not clear what will take its place," Hall says. "It's a grim, grim time."