Twenty-six Courier-Journal employees will take buyouts from the paper’s parent company Gannett. Gannett offered the buyouts earlier this year to employees over 56-years-old and with at least 20 years of service to the company. Eighteen of the employees who accepted the buyouts came from the Courier’s news department. The buyouts reduce the paper’s editorial page staff to one: Pam Platt will remain. Only one news employee will be replaced, marking another reduction in the paper’s reporting staff.
The announcement comes at a time of significant changes at the paper. To fight lower-than-expected revenues, Gannett will institute paywalls on its community papers’ websites this year. No formal date has been announced for the Courier, but eventually the paper will require paid web subscriptions for full access to its website.
Last year, the Courier laid off 50 employees. Mandatory week-long furloughs have persisted for years, but this was the first buyout offer since 2008.
Those who accepted will be given two weeks of pay for every year they’ve worked for Gannett for up to 52 weeks.
Courier-Journal officials did not return a request for comment but WFPL has confirmed that the following employees have accepted buyouts:
Keith Runyon – Opinion page editor
Steve Ford – Editor of editorials
Ric Manning – Online Production Manager
Larry Muhammad – Features writer
Harry Bryan – Sports editor
Mike Upsel – Metro Editor
Patrick Howington – Reporter
Arlene Jacobson – Special publications editor
Ken Neuhauser – Features reporter