WSJ Offers Buyouts to Staff

Number of offers undetermined

Buyouts have been offered to employees of The Wall Street Journal and DowJones Newswires, Romenesko reported, citing a tip from an anonymous Journal staffer.

The staffer said he was given one week to decide. In an update to the original post, Romanesko has since crossed out the reporter's assertion that "the offer is going to all employees."

A Wall Street Journal spokesperson told Romenesko, "Buyouts have long been an option for staff.”

A spokesperson for the Journal's newsroom union, Tim Martell, reiterated this statement, saying, "There is no across-the-board buyout offer to WSJ or Newswires employees. I do know that managers have circled back to employees who have previously expressed some interest in a buyout, but that’s really not much different than we have seen as fiscal years past have neared an end. … No idea yet how many [buyouts were offered]—or how many have said ‘yes.’”

The ongoing buyouts are in line with News Corp.'s cost-cutting initiatives. CEO Robert Thomson said at an investor meeting on June 4 that the company is "certainly not naive about the challenges facing some of our newspapers and the headwinds commercially and economically in some countries. The advertising market has been volatile and print sales have certainly declined. … Costs are being confronted and cut, and the markets are being reoriented. That transformation will take longer than a couple of quarters. That is obvious."

On June 28, News Corp.'s publishing assets will officially split from the company's more profitable entertainment holdings.