Newsroom staffers at The Seattle Times have until Dec. 31 to consider a buyout offer amid “significant reductions in the newsroom budget,” Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger reports:
Best admitted that the timing of the announcement was “not ideal,” but suggested the holidays could be a time “to talk over your decision with your families.” She also said: “I don’t want to lose any of you and I know that doing so carries a price for our newsroom and for our readers. But we don’t have a choice if we want The Seattle Times to continue.”
Staffers are eligible for one week of pay for each year at the paper, up to 13 weeks, according to The Stranger.
The Seattle Times is owned by the Blethen family, which has controlled the paper since its founding in 1896. The paper has bagged 10 Pulitzer Prizes in its 119-year history, most recently for its coverage of the landslide in Oso, Washington that left 43 dead.
When Hearst Corporation eliminated the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s print edition in 2009, The Seattle Times was said to be financially imperiled. The Times cleared $36 million in a 2011 real estate sale that saw the newspaper vacate its longtime headquarters.