In October, Gannett offered a round of voluntary buyouts to all its employees. Poynter has learned that roughly 600 people opted in and roughly 500 buyouts were accepted.
Gannett, which owns USA Today and more than 250 daily newsrooms, is the country’s largest newspaper owner. It employs about 21,000 people, 5,000 of them journalists.
Poynter obtained a copy of a 15-page PDF listing of the job titles of those selected for buyouts. We’re not publishing it here because it contains identifying details about people who took buyouts and people whose offers were not accepted. The buyouts include about 60 editors, 19 photojournalists, seven managing editors, three executive editors and 124 reporters.
In the spring, Gannett laid off journalists around the country after its merger with Gatehouse.
In late summer, the company told financial analysts in an earnings conference call that it planned a net addition of journalists through the second half of the year.
Because of the coronavirus, Gannett, like many other media companies, has had furloughs and pay cuts. It closed two newsrooms in Texas, closed printing presses in Montana and California and moved a newsroom out of its building in Ohio. Gannett also has taken on the printing of newspapers of the locally owned Philadelphia Inquirer and McClatchy’s Kansas City Star.
A Gannett spokeswoman declined to confirm how many offers were extended and how many were accepted. It is not clear whether some of the positions will be filled by promotions or new hires.
“Gannett’s furloughs earlier this year and the recent buyouts undermine our democracy,” said Jon Schleuss, president of The NewsGuild — Communications Workers of America. “It’s a disgrace that any news company thinks it can cut its way to success.”
Editor’s note: We have updated this story to include information about the documents used to source this story.