Buyouts are being offered to Ledger employees as the paper considers a best-case 26% reduction in staff and renegotiated agreement with its mailers union.
If a new agreement with the union can’t be reached, the Ledger will be sold or even closed.
The loss of the Ledger would be disastrous for local news coverage in a state of 8.5 million people. In 2005, the paper won a Pulitzer for its coverage of Governor McGreevy’s resignation amidst his gay affair. The Ledger ranks 15th in largest circulation of daily newspapers, nationwide.
The Star-Ledger of Newark is notifying employees that the newspaper will be sold or closed in early January unless it reaches a contract deal with its drivers union.
Publisher George Arwady told employees in a memo today that it is doubtful drivers will ratify a new deal by Oct. 8. As a result, formal notices required by law will be sent out this week advising employees that the newspaper will be sold or close on Jan. 5.
The Star-Ledger is New Jersey’s largest newspaper with a daily circulation of about 350,000. The paper has posted losses for at least three straight years and is on pace to lose between $30 million and $40 million in 2008.