Globe offers buyouts to print and Web

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The Boston Globe is offering buyouts to all 379 of its full-time news employees in an effort to cut 50 jobs.

If 50 people — nearly 12% of the news and editorial staff — do not accept buyouts, layoffs of union and management employees could follow. This round of cuts includes buyout offers to Boston.com employees — an interesting move, considering the industry's current attempts to improve its online half. The Globe's parent, New York Times Co., is investing heavily in its NYTimes.com site.

As of September 28, the Globe's total average paid circulation was 323,983 on weekdays and 503,659 on Sundays. In 2007, those numbers were 360,695 (weekdays) and 548,906 (Sundays). According to Nielsen Online, Boston.com saw 8,610,000 unique visitors in September 2008 — a 122% growth spurt over September 2007. It was the sixth-most-popular news site that month; NYTimes.com was first, with more than 20 million uniques.

The buyouts, which should be completed in the next few months, will be the Globe's fifth newsroom staff reduction since 2001. However, it is the first newsroom-only buyout “in recent memory,” according to the Globe's own report. The paper laid off 42 managers in its advertising, circulation and marketing departments in November.

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