Newsweek staffers take voluntary buy-out

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Newsweek staffers take voluntary buy-out
Newsweek staffers take voluntary buy-out

A number of Newsweek staffers have accepted an employee buy-out offer and are leaving the magazine.

Reports place the number of exiting employees at 111, but spokespeople at Newsweek and parent Washington Post Co. would not confirm the number.

The buyout offer, which was announced by the company in its January 2008 fourth-quarter report, included enhanced retirement benefits and was slated to be completed by the end of Q1 2008.

“Confronting the challenges in today's media climate, we recently offered a voluntary retirement program to some of our employees,” read Newsweek's official statement. “We were fortunate to be able to provide generous packages for eligible staffers who wanted to move on, while also saving on some of our existing expenses. 

Some of the most well known writers who accepted the deal —David Ansen, David Gates, Cathleen McGuigan, Mark Starr and John Barry — will stay on as contributors to the magazine and the Web site.

“New voices will be joining Newsweek too,” the statement continued. “We will continue to invest in Newsweek, and other new ventures, which collectively will strengthen our company's long-term health and vibrancy.”

Newsweek reported total verified subscriptions of 3,016,652 for the six months ended December 31, 2007. It also reported single-copy sales of 92,576, which pushed the magazine's total paid and verified circulation slightly above its rate base of 3,100,000. Newsweek's total circulation dropped 0.2% in 2007 compared to 2006, and in 2006 it saw a decline of 0.9% from the year before. Average subscription price has also been dropping — down to $25.22 in 2007 from $28.07 in 2005 — as have ad sales. The magazine reported $474 million in ad revenues in 2007, down from $483 million the year before.

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