Buyout Period Extended at Inquirer and Daily News

Just over a week ago, we gave you details of the buyouts offered to Inquirer, Daily News, and staffers. That 14-day buyout period was set to end next Wednesday, but with lukewarm response thus far, Philadelphia Media Network, the company owns the publications, has extended the deadline until March 14th. In a meeting yesterday between PMN and the Newspaper Guild, the union that represents employees, the company announced the extension. Management also agreed to the Guild’s request that the company pay $5,000 and one month of COBRA benefits to any employee laid off after the new buyout period ends. According to one source familiar with the buyouts, only a “handful” of staffers have signed on (there were three Inquirer employees as of day one). “People are making inquiries,” says the source. “They’re checking into their pensions and trying to find out if they’ll have enough money to retire.”