Yesterday was the last day for 264 Palm Beach Post employees, all of whom took the buyout. Now it's time for "involuntary separations," according to a memo from Publisher Doug Franklin (thankfully supplied by a reader).
Since the target for job cuts was 300, that means at least 36 more will get the ax. Franlin's memo is copied below, but first there's more carnage to report in Florida journalism. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has laid off 33 employees, 19 of them in the newsroom, according to a reliable source.
The list of newsroomers -- which includes investigative reporter Bob Mahlburg and columnists David Grimes and Linda Brandt -- who are walking out the door:
-- News assistants Melissa Robinson, Janet Gibson, and Phyllis Breeden -- Librarian Nancy Traylor -- Sports writer Perry Pentz -- Columnist David Grimes -- Food Columnist Linda Brandt -- Editorial writer Larry Evans -- Investigative reporter Bob Mahlberg -- Design staffers Jean Faulk, Cindy Cannon, Kellie Dickerson, Travis Ricks, Marjorie Holloway -- Copy editors Roger Morton, Laura Cullumbine, Vinny Safuto -- Real estate writer Marsha Fottler -- Letters editor Wendy Dial
Here's the Franklin memo:
From: Franklin, Doug (CNI-Palm Beach) Sent: Tue 8/12/2008 4:27 PM To: All PBNI Employees Subject: Separation Programs
Today is the final work day for 264 of our fellow employees who elected to accept the Voluntary Separation Program. While this is a difficult move for all of us, this successful program allowed us to gracefully reduce our workforce. Please join me in recognizing the contributions and service of these individuals to our company.
Because this is fewer than we needed, it will be necessary to implement the Involuntary Separation Program. The involuntary portion of our reduction in force will be much smaller than anticipated because of the great response to our VSP. We will move immediately into this phase the week of August 18, 2008.
We will handle the Involuntary Separation Program as fairly as possible, making sure that employees are treated with respect. The decisions will be based on criteria established by department leadership, including required skills, past performance and organizational needs.
Thank you for exhibiting professionalism, patience and remaining focused on our readers and advertisers throughout this challenging period.
Doug Franklin Publisher