Thursday, August 23, 2018

GateHouse Media offers voluntary buyouts to all Neosho Daily, Carthage Press employees, layoffs may follow

In GateHouse Media terms it is called right sizing.

Anywhere else, people call it laying off or firing employees.

GateHouse Media, one of the biggest newspaper chains in the United States and the owner of approximately two dozen Missouri newspapers, offered voluntary buyouts to all staff members of its newspapers across the country this week.

Among those receiving the "offer," earlier this week in a meeting at the Neosho Daily News office, according to Neosho sources, were all staff members of the Daily and the Carthage Press- not that many of those remain.

The "right sizing" had to occur, the Daily and Press employees were told, because the company is still losing money and had to take steps to correct the situation.

Those who choose to take the buyout will receive severance pay of one week for each year they have worked for GateHouse. That is the same offer GateHouse made during its massive buyouts two years ago. That buyout offered a limit of 13 weeks of pay, except that those who had worked for the company for more than 20 years could receive 17 weeks.

Employees at the local newspapers have until next Monday to make their decision.

The Daily and Press staff members were told that some employees might not be allowed to take the buyout if the company decides they need them to keep the operation going.

If not enough people to take the buyouts, employees were told that the company will step in and take action to reduce the staffs.

Despite that, it seems almost certain that the Daily, which went from five times a week to twice a week in April 2017 and the Press, which is now a weekly, will take cuts to their news staffs. The Daily has been down to an editor, a reporter, and a sports editor, while the Press has only an editor and a sports editor.

The decision comes only a few days after the announcement that as of Labor Day, the Neosho Daily News printing press will be shut down and the Daily, the Press, the Pittsburg Morning Sun and the Aurora Advertiser will all be printed in Columbia.


Anonymous said...

Well, isn't it nice that you avoided the rush by being kicked out early?

Harvey Hutchinson said...

Why don’t you hire them?

Harvey HUTCHINSON 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

Should the company just keep them on until it goes broke? I’m glad to hear the company is at least giving them some sort of option and ability to prepare, rather than a pink slip and out the door you go.

New technology has changed the role of printed newspaper. New technology has also changed the role of small town hospitals. In the last 25-35 years, advances in healthcare made it cost prohibitive for small hospitals to offer these advances. We all know small area hospitals have had to sell out because they couldn’t compete with Joplin. (McCune Brooks can’t afford to offer open heart surgery, Lamar can’t afford neonatal ICU) So what do most of us do? Go to Joplin. The situation of newspapers and small hospitals is the same way across the country, not just locally.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it just is. I’m old enough to remember the more personalized care from a hometown hospital and I prefer to hold the newspaper in my hand. BUT, here I sit reading news on line and if I have a heart attack, bypass my local hospital (that I dearly love) and life flight me to Joplin.

Steve Holmes said...

11:53 nailed it. Small-town newspapers are a dying breed. What choice did GateHouse have? If there is a way for small-town papers to change the trend, I haven't heard of it yet.