‘New York Post’ offers buyouts; seeks 10-percent staff reduction in attempt to avoid layoffs

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The Daily News isn't the only local tabloid trimming its headcount.

The New York Post is offering voluntary buyouts to newsroom employees, editor-in-chief Col Allan informed the staff today in a memo obtained by Capital.

The paper is aiming to reduce its headcount by 10 percent through the buyout packages, which will be discussed today with eligible employees.

Allan also indicated the paper could achieve the 10-percent reduction through "other measures if necessary," suggesting that layoffs are possible if not enough employees accept the buyouts.

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"As we budgeted for the coming fiscal year, we took a careful look at our editorial spending and staffing levels, which have grown slowly over the last decade," Allan said in his memo. "We have always strived to be an efficient and resourceful news organization, and being so now is all the more important."

The buyouts come as the Post's parent corporation, News Corp., prepares to separate its publishing properties, which also include The Wall Street Journal and various newspapers in the U.K. and Australia, from the company's cash-cow television and film assetts. After the split, the publishing titles will no longer be cushioned by more lucrative brands such as Fox News.

The Post is said to lose as much as $110 million a year.

The buyouts also mean that three of New York's major hometown papers, which like all newspapers have been grappling with diminished print advertising revenues, are in a mode of newsroom downsizing in 2013. (The Wall Street Journal, the Greater New York section of which has competed with the Times and the tabloids for readers and advertisers since 2010, is apparently not.)

Today and yesterday, pink slips were being handed out at the Daily News. And The New York Times completed a significant round of buyouts earlier this year.

The Post is the sixth most widely-read paper in the U.S., but during the six months between October and March, its combined print and digital average weekday circulation fell 9.9. percent year-over-year to 500,521, including 299,950 print copies, according to data released last week by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Post's average Sunday circulation plummetted 18.5 percent to 353,900 during the same period.

Here's the full text of Allan's memo:

To all staff:

Today we are offering voluntary buyouts to a limited number of newsroom employees.

We plan to meet with eligible employees today and discuss with them their options and the package being offered to them. We do not intend to offer buyouts to every department or individual.

As we budgeted for the coming fiscal year, we took a careful look at our editorial spending and staffing levels, which have grown slowly over the last decade. It is our intention now to reduce our staffing levels by 10% through this initiative, and other measures if necessary. We have always strived to be an efficient and resourceful news organization, and being so now is all the more important.

The New York Post is one of the best brands in the business, and I want to assure you our future, both in print and digital, is very bright indeed. We are taking these steps to make our business stronger and we will continue with targeted investment in the future as we continually strive to offer the best possible product to our loyal readers across all our platforms.

Col