The Los Angeles Times.
The Los Angeles Times (AP Photo).

A long-expected buyout program will soon be underway throughout Tribune Publishing, according to a memo to employees from company CEO Jack Griffin.

Employees will have until Oct. 23 to consider the terms of the buyout, which is open to non-union employees with more than one year of service, according to the announcement.

The senior management team and I recognize that each employee makes important contributions to our company. At the same time, in the challenging revenue environment that all publishing companies face, it is critical that we make hard decisions and take the necessary steps that continue to position Tribune Publishing Company for success over the long term.

"At least 50" editorial positions will be culled from the Los Angeles Times before the cuts conclude, according to CNN's Dylan Byers.

The announcement heralds cuts at Tribune Publishing that have been forecasted for several weeks by numerous reports in Poynter, The New York Times and elsewhere. According to those reports, Tribune Publishing is looking to cut expenses by $10 million and trim about 80 positions.

The buyout package offers employees compensation based on tiers that correspond to time spent at the company. Employees who've been at Tribune Publishing between 1 and 10 years get one week of base pay for every year at the company; beyond that, employees get additional weeks of severance for each decade spent at Tribune Publishing.

The staff cuts come amid tensions between Chicago-based Tribune Publishing and the Los Angeles Times, the company's largest newsroom. Last month, Tribune Publishing ousted Austin Beutner from his position as publisher of the Los Angeles Times amid reports that he was organizing a coalition for local ownership of the paper. Beutner was followed out the door by multiple members of the Los Angeles Times' leadership team.

Here's the memo:

Dear Tribune Publishing Employees:

Today we are announcing a Voluntary Separation Program for our employees. We are doing so now to allow employees to make decisions about their own personal and professional situations at a time when the company must continue to execute on its strategic plan, which includes reducing costs.

The senior management team and I recognize that each employee makes important contributions to our company. At the same time, in the challenging revenue environment that all publishing companies face, it is critical that we make hard decisions and take the necessary steps that continue to position Tribune Publishing Company for success over the long term.

Tribune Publishing is built on and committed to quality journalism and premium content. In our short history as an independent public company, our newspaper brands have been recognized for journalistic excellence and commitment to their local communities, including two Pulitzer Prizes at the Los Angeles Times and honorable mentions for the Chicago Tribune and TheBaltimore Sun. And as you may have read last week, The Sun recently received recognition from the Online News Association for its outstanding digital coverage of recent events in Baltimore.

Concurrently, we are investing in digital products, technology and talent to move the company forward. To accomplish and continue this, we must adapt our current cost structure and business model to meet changing times. This is the rationale behind the Employee Voluntary Separation Program. We recognize and appreciate that the decision whether to participate in the plan is a difficult one. Our Human Resources team stands ready to support you in the decision-making process.

Any non-union employee with more than one year of service will be eligible to participate in the program. Eligible employees will receive a personalized and detailed packet within the next five business days, and will have until October 23rd to decide whether to apply for the plan. Cindy Ballard, our head of Human Resources, will send a separate note today with further information.

As the company enters the important fourth quarter, we appreciate the continued focus and dedication our teams are already demonstrating to deliver results for all our stakeholders. Thank you for your hard work during this time and for your ongoing commitment to the success of our company.

This story has been updated to clarify that Tribune Publishing CEO Jack Griffin did not mention a specific number of positions to be cut in his memo. This story has also been updated to clarify the fact that the buyouts will not be confined to newsrooms. This story has also been updated to clarify the time period over which cuts are expected to take place at the Los Angeles Times, according to CNN.