If you're a regular reader of the Orlando Sentinel, you may have noticed some missing bylines lately. That's because Tribune Publishing offered longtime staffers voluntary buyouts late last year, and according to WMFE 90.7 News, 14 Sentinel newsroom employees accepted the offer.
In a memo sent to employees in October, Tribune Publishing announced that it would offer buyouts to help the company "execute on its strategic plan, which includes reducing costs." In November, the Chicago Tribune reported that the company had approved buyouts for 7 percent of its 7,000 employees; those with at least one year of experience with the company would receive one week of base pay for every year they had put in, with a cap of one full year's pay.
"We are investing in digital products, technology and talent to move the company forward," the October memo reads. "To accomplish and continue this, we must adapt our current cost structure and business model to meet the changing times."
Among the Sentinel staffers who took the buyout were columnist and editorial writer Darryl Owens, opinions editor Mike Lafferty (who quipped on Twitter that he was "calling it a career" on Dec. 21) and reporter Dan Tracy, who tweeted that he would pursue a career in freelance writing, research and analysis.