The Chronicle plans to cut about one-fourth of its newsroom staff — 100 jobs — because the paper continues to lose money, the Guild says in a statement. Management informed the Guild that it intends to cut 80 union and 20 management positions. The union has proposed a plan to achieve the target number of job reductions through voluntary buyouts and retirement incentives, which management is considering. Under the plan, buyouts would be offered initially and if there are not enough takers within 30 days, there would be forced layoffs.
“Representatives from the Chronicle did meet (Thursday) with Guild representatives to initiate discussions on early retirement and buyout programs involving a significant number of people,” Publisher Frank Vega is quoted by SFgate as saying, “We are not prepared to discuss specifics because it was just a preliminary conversation.”
Hearst lost $330 million on the Chronicle between when it purchased the paper in 2002 and September 2006, according to a depositon of Hearst executive James Asher that was filed in court as part of an anti-trust suit against the company.