Enough employees of BANG-EB (Bay Area News Group, East Bay), including the Contra Costa Times, the Oakland Tribune, and fourteen other local papers, accepted buyouts to avoid involuntary layoffs, it was announced Thursday. The announcement comes a few weeks after the employees were offered buyouts, with the stipulation that if not enough accepted, the company would have to resort to layoffs. In a letter from publisher John Armstrong, 107 of the 1100 employees who were offered buyouts accepted, and even some were rejected. For most, their final day will be Tuesday, March 11. Armstrong didn't quite reassure folks that there won't be staff cutting in the future, but urged employees to turn their focus on improving their newspapers and web sites. "Working together, we can emerge from our current economic difficulties stronger than ever as the leading media voice in the East Bay," he wrote.
Following that, the San Jose Mercury News laid off 34 workers yesterday, including fifteen newsroom staffers and five editors, representing a 10 percent loss to its editorial staff.