Monday, August 2, 2010

Layoffs coming to Wisconsin State Journal

At least four full-time employees in the sports and video departments of the Wisconsin State Journal and Capital Times are being targeted in a buyout offer.

Here's the memo that was sent to Capital Newspaper employees on behalf of Wisconsin State Journal publisher Bill Johnson and Capital Times publisher Clayton Frink:

We are nearing completion of our operating budget for the next fiscal year, and we now know that we are going to have to reduce staffing at Capital Newspapers. We have looked at all areas of our operation for efficiencies and budget cuts, but we are not able to reach our budget expectations through non-personnel reductions.

We need to eliminate multiple positions in the combined newsrooms, and the sports and video departments are the primary areas which will experience the reductions. Initial estimates indicate that this will involve the reduction of approximately four full-time positions.

The full-time employees in sports and video are being provided with information on a voluntary severance program opportunity. The package consists of two weeks for every full year of service, up to a maximum of 52 weeks plus outplacement assistance and other benefits.

Capital Newspapers is jointly owned by Lee and The Capital Times Co. The Madison, Wis., papers cut 15 employees in August 2009.

Lee has entered the last quarter of its fiscal year, which in recent years has meant layoffs. Send tips to

(Via e-mail.)

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