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More Cuts at Palm Beach Post: Staffers Offered Buyouts

What in Ron Wiggins' name is happening at the Palm Beach Post?

First, they came for 300 staffers. Then they came for TGIF. Now, they are coming for courts reporter Jane Musgrave.

And we can't have that!

Journalism has been under fire for more than a decade, since the internet changed the economic game. All of us in the industry have pretty much accepted that we will one day be replaced by some tween's Instagram feed.

But still -- it's a little shocking when it actually happens.

This week comes news that the Palm Beach Post, in its most recent round of cost-cutting, has offered buyouts to 55-and-older staffers, i.e., the grownups.

Jane Musgrave is a courts reporter who made sense of complicated subjects like the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the state attorney's race, and the years-long fallout from a county commission ravaged by corruption. Not the kind of stuff that a fresh-outta-college whippersnapper can synthesize in a blog post but rather, the important, consequential, and heavy stories that require institutional knowledge.

Musgrave wrote eloquently on the Society for Professional Journalists' blog about how the buyout offers last week -- which were offered to about 40 staffers, she said -- have led to "age warfare" in her newsroom:

Since the emails went out, younger reporters have looked at us like fellow passengers on the Titanic. If we don't jump overboard with our buyout packages in hand, there will be no room for them on the life rafts. Instead of us, the iceberg will be heading at them.

Gossip Extra (and former Post columnist) Jose Lambiet reported recently that the Post's head honcho in advertising is stepping down and the paper is opening a marketing/advertising arm called Idea Bar, a project that was described as "bizarre" and rife with potential conflicts of interest.

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Deirdra Funcheon

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