Sun-Times misses deadline on buyouts

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times

Wednesday’s deadline passed without action from management on buyouts or layoffs of editorial employees at the Sun-Times.

Newsroom staffers represented by the Chicago Newspaper Guild had been given until Wednesday to apply for voluntary buyouts, which would provide up to 20 weeks of severance pay to the most experienced employees.

Struggling to reduce losses despite declining revenue, Sun-Times parent company Wrapports LLC had set a goal of reducing 12 to 15 positions, representing up to 22 percent of Guild unit members. “Over the coming days we will talk to interested employees and plan to have the process wrapped up no later than [Tuesday] February 17,” the company said in a statement February 11.

As of Wednesday, sources said, about 10 employees had requested buyouts, leaving five or more positions subject to layoffs with significantly less severance. Management still has the option to extend the deadline for buyouts.

Jim Kirk, Sun-Times publisher and editor-in-chief, could not be reached for comment.

The latest round of job cuts has been expected since Wrapports completed the sale of its 38 suburban newspapers to Tribune Publishing November 1. The move left Wrapports with only the Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader alternative weekly among its major holdings.