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Newsday offers workers voluntary buyouts

Newsday officials presented the voluntary buyout offer to

Newsday officials presented the voluntary buyout offer to employees on Thursday.  Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Newsday Media Group is offering voluntary buyouts to some employees as it adds television, more multimedia products and live events to producing newspapers and websites, executives said Thursday.

The company, with headquarters in Melville, hasn’t yet determined how many buyouts will be granted in a workforce that totals about 840 people.

The buyout offer consists of three weeks' pay for every year of service, up to 65 weeks.

The eligible employees work in Newsday’s newsroom, advertising, marketing and finance departments. Employees of the commuter paper amNewYork are not eligible, officials said.

“Newsday is transforming from a traditional newspaper into a leading-edge multimedia and multiplatform content-generation machine, with expanded video, exciting live events and experiences for subscribers,” said company spokeswoman Kim Como.

She noted the new headquarters building that the company will move to next month, also in Melville, features a television studio and theater equipped for live broadcasts.

“As we evolve, our staffing needs will continue to change,” Como said. “We will be needing more people in some areas and fewer in others…Right now we are actively recruiting applicants to fill over 30 positions including new positions for video journalists and producers.”

Michael LaSpina, president of Local 406 of the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents some of the affected workers, said the buyout offer is more generous than what the union contract calls for.

“They went over and above the contract,” he said. “They are looking to get volunteers.”

The buyout offer was presented to employees Thursday by Newsday publisher Debby Krenek and editor Deborah Henley. It follows involuntary buyouts last year for pressmen, truck drivers and collators.

That round of buyouts was tied to The New York Times' starting to print Newsday, amNewYork and other papers at its plant in College Point, Queens. Some of the affected Newsday employees were hired by the Times.

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