P-D Layoffs: The Memo

An internal memo circulated yesterday to St. Louis Post-Dispatch employees indicates that some of the staffers who were laid off could get their jobs back if others resign or retire by January 21.

The Post offered a similar deal when it let go of people last fall, and reporters Christine Byers and Patrick M. O'Connell were both able to be "rehired."

Yesterday's memo, penned by Arnie Robbins and Pam Maples, the local daily's executive editor and managing editor, respectively, also notes that several budgets (wire services, travel, freelance) have been cut, and reports that the paper's Nexis subscription has been terminated. (Nexis is a subscription service providing journalists access to a huge digital archive of newspaper and magazine articles, not to mention public records. I, for one, can't imagine not having access to it.)

See the full memo after the jump.

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2009

It has been a very rough day. We eliminated 14 newsroom positions Thursday.

We eliminated the positions of four full-time copy editors (Sharon Fuller, Amy Verkamp-McCarthy, Ted Rodgers, Michael Florio), two members of the Editorial Department (Eric Mink and Annette Reavling), three editors (Cameron Hollway, Tim Poor and Sandy Wood), one news aide (Susan Luberda), three online news producers (Lisa Godoski, Neil Joellenbeck, Kimberly Ratliff) and one photo assistant (Dennis Sweeso).

Under the Guild contract, Guild staff members with more seniority in the classifications affected can volunteer to retire if eligible or resign and, in effect, take the place of those whose positions were eliminated. Please contact Gwen Jacobsen or Bruce Benson in HR by Wednesday, Jan. 21 if you are interested in volunteering to leave. If you are in a different classification but interested in retiring or resigning, contact Gwen or Bruce and we will consider your request.

To preserve as many positions as possible, we also made substantial cuts to our budget: in travel, freelance, syndicates, wire services, and by eliminating Nexis. But as you know, it continues to be a difficult time for our industry and the Post-Dispatch, and an equally difficult economy.

We are sorry to have to give you this unpleasant news so early in the New Year.

-- Pam and Arnie

For all of our Post-Dispatches, click here.

-Kristen Hinman
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