Washington Post will offer buyouts to employees to reduce staff

(Reuters) – The Washington Post plans to offer voluntary separation packages to employees across all functions, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday, as the newspaper looks to trim staff.

The Post, which earlier in the day reported that voluntary buyouts to its staff was in an effort to reduce headcount by 240, did not offer any specific details of the separation packages and the roles impacted.

This comes at a time when a weak advertising market amid slowing economic growth has forced several technology and media companies to cut costs.

Interim CEO Patty Stonesifer said in an email to staff that the Post’s subscription, traffic and advertising projections over the past two years had been “overly optimistic” and that the company is looking for ways “to return our business to a healthier place in the coming year”, the publication reported.

The buyouts are being offered in hopes of “averting more difficult actions such as layoffs”, the Post quoted Stonesifer.

In April, BuzzFeed said it would shutter its news division and lay off some 180 employees, while its HuffPost unit would be its primary news division.

Vice Media in May filed for bankruptcy protection, while in June the online publisher was sold to a consortium led by Fortress Investment Group for $350 million.

(Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)