Washington Post Guild rep says close to 50 people probably have accepted buyout offer

MediaWire memo

Thirty-two Guild-represented employees have taken up The Washington Post on its buyout offer, writes Guild co-chair Freddy Kunkle in an email to members. The total number, including editors, is probably close to 50; the company reportedly has capped the number of people who could take part at 48.

More than a dozen of the Guild-represented employees who have accepted the buyout are Asian-American, African-American or Latino, Kunkle writes. If the company accepts all those offers, that would mean at least 37.5 percent of the Guild buyouts would be minorities.

The Post newsroom has 25.3 percent minority representation, according to the most recent ASNE census; newspapers with similar circulation average about 20 percent. (The Guild and ASNE census figures are not exactly comparable because the census counts total newsroom employment, including management, and the Guild represents employees outside the newsroom.)

The company has said it would start informing employees on Friday whether it has accepted their resignation offers. In his original email announcing the buyouts, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said, "we may turn down some volunteers if we feel their departure would impair our journalism."

Kunkle's memo:


We have learned today that 32 Guild-covered employees have chosen to accept the company’s buyout offer. We do not know how many editors have elected to participate in the buyouts, but union reps are hearing that the number probably puts the total close to 50.

It also appears, as many of you have been hearing, that a high number of the participants are Asian, African-American or Latino. By our count, more a dozen of these Guild-covered employees are minorities, most of whom are black.

We thought we would tell you as soon as we knew the numbers, but we won’t be giving out any names.

In what has to be one of the most dismal weeks in recent Post history (blogger resignation, buyout deadline and Pulitzer skunking, in case you're keeping score at home), we certainly wish the best for those who have decided to leave.


Earlier: Washington Post sweetens its buyout offer || Related: MaryAnne Golon named Washington Post’s new director of photography

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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