February 8, 2012 / 6:15 PM / 6 years ago

Washington Post to reduce newsroom headcount: memo

(Reuters) - The Washington Post Co will offer voluntary buyout to some of its newsroom employees as it seeks to reduce headcount and save costs, an internal memo showed.

The memo from Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli on Wednesday said the objective is a limited staff reduction.

The voluntary buyout will be offered to certain newsroom departments and there will be caps on the number of people who can participate, Brauchli said in the memo, a copy of which was emailed to Reuters.

Like most U.S. newspapers, Washington Post has also been hit by falling advertising revenue and circulation as readers increasingly switch to digital media.

“We may turn down some volunteers if we feel their departure would impair our journalism. That said, it is important that we achieve real savings,” Brauchli said.

The company would discuss the details of the proposed program with the Newspaper Guild over the next two weeks and details will be given after that.

The program does not accelerate pension benefits but will include enhanced separation payments and company-paid COBRA (health insurance) premiums for eligible fulltime employees.

In November, the company reported a quarterly net loss as advertising revenue at its flagship newspaper fell and fewer students signed up at its Kaplan chain of for-profit colleges.

Washington Post’s shares were trading up 1 percent at $385.63 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Megha Mandavia in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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