KARE11 seeks buyouts; threatens layoffs

The local media recession rolls on. KARE11 staffers received a memo today offering buyouts for longtime workers over 55.

That Logan’s Run carrot also has a stick: “If the voluntary offer does not result in a sufficient number of volunteers, or if business conditions worsen, it may be necessary to consider other expense reductions, including layoffs,” according to the memo.

KARE has had a smattering of layoffs this year, getting rid of live-truck operators, for example. Corporate parent Gannett’s stock price is in the toilet, and the chain recently announced a 10 percent job cut at its newspapers, including the St. Cloud Times.

Here’s the memo from KARE management:

All of you here have worked very hard over the past few years to stave off the business and economic conditions that are impacting our industry. Even so, the challenges are deepening and we must face them head on.

To that end, we are offering a voluntary severance program to some employees at our station who are age 55 or older and have a minimum of 10 years of credited service. Eligible employees are receiving detailed information about the offer now.

Department Heads and employees with personal services contracts are not eligible for this offer.

Even though you are not eligible for this program, we wanted you to know what is happening.

Also, you need to know that if the voluntary offer does not result in a sufficient number of volunteers, or if business conditions worsen, it may be necessary to consider other expense reductions, including layoffs.

We know this is very difficult for everyone involved. It is extremely important to me that everyone understands these reductions are not in any way a reflection of the work these employees have done. All of them are our colleagues and friends.

And, because we already have seen a reduction in staff through attrition or other initiatives, we expect our work loads and processes will need to change. This is a continuing challenge for everyone.

Your patience and loyalty under these circumstances has been remarkable, and I deeply appreciate it. If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor or our human resources representative.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Jeff Kline on 11/21/2008 - 01:12 pm.

    None of this surprises me. NBC has lost viewer ship in recent years to ABC, FOX and CBS so why not? The corporate antics have said enough of whats going on. GE alone has been called to question about many of it’s practices and politics that even gained notice of ABC and Fox. Nice bunch of people here at the local station so maybe they can consider going independent??

  2. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 11/21/2008 - 01:18 pm.

    Sounds like the KARE Bears have morphed into grizzlies, picking off the old and feeble in the herd.

    Layoffs just before Christmas? Who do they think they are, Hubbard?

  3. Submitted by Mitch Larson on 11/21/2008 - 05:41 pm.

    I was an intern there a LONG time ago. Really nice folks here. Maybe they can join forces with MinnPost?

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