Inquirer Staffers Want Out, Buyout Details Emerge

Today is the first day of the 14-day buyout period for Daily News, Inquirer and personnel, and three Inquirer newsroom employees have volunteered to participate, according to one source at the Newspaper Guild, the labor union which represents them. The source declined to provide names or exact positions.

The payouts are based on length of employment and are as follows: 1-5 years, $5,000 and one month of COBRA payment; 6-14 years, $15,000 and two months of COBRA; 15+ years, $25,000 and three months of COBRA. Management at Philadelphia Media Network must approve the applications and could feasibly deny a request if an employee is deemed essential to the company’s operation, but the source, who is “outraged” over PMN’s decision to eliminate 37 positions by the end of March, says this is unlikely.

The source also indicated that “Larry Platt has not been fired yet,” referring to the current Daily News editor and former Philadelphia magazine editor who just became a hero in journalism circles by talking to the New York Times about PMN publisher Greg Osberg’s handling of newsroom coverage of the possible sale of the Inquirer and Daily News.