Philadelphia Media Network will lay off 46 members of the Newspaper Guild, the guild notified members Monday afternoon.
Journalists at the company — which owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com — had been prepared for news of layoffs since Friday, when new publisher Terry Egger said job reductions would be part of a restructuring that includes the merging of the three newsrooms.
“The company has informed the Guild of its intent to lay off 46 Guild members effective Dec. 4,” guild officials said in an email to members. “Company officials rejected the Guild’s request to meet today to find out which departments and individuals will be affected, and has requested a meeting Wednesday morning, so everyone can be left hanging for an astonishing two additional days.”
The guild currently has 436 members employed at PMN, meaning its membership will be reduced by more than 10 percent. The guild represents journalists, ad sales people, and other support staffers at the company.
This is not the largest layoff in the company’s history, said Bill Ross, the guild’s executive director. A layoff under former owner Brian Tierney resulted in more than 100 guild members losing their jobs.
This round will be different from previous layoffs, however. The contract signed by PMN and the guild over the summer gives the company the right to exempt from “last hired, first fired” seniority requirements up to 25 percent of employees in a group targeted for layoffs — provided those employees “are deemed to be essential to the Company’s operations.”
The result? It’s more likely that some young journos will survive these cuts — and more likely that veterans with long-familiar bylines will lose their jobs.
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