Friday, September 19, 2008

Star-Ledger on the Ropes

Things aren't looking good for the Star-Ledger, New Jersey's largest newspaper.

In July, Publisher George E. Arwady characterized the paper as being "on life support" when he told employees that the newspaper will be sold if management cannot win union concessions and persuade 200 of the 756 non-union, full-time workers to take buyouts by October 1, 2008.

Last week, with less than a month before the October 1 deadline, Arwady stated that the paper has not yet received the 100 news staff buyouts needed.

On Tuesday, in an internal e-mail, Arwady told employees that the Star-Ledger could be sold or closed by January if the Newspaper and Mail Deliverers Union doesn't ratify a labor agreement by October 8. Arwady told employees that the newspaper and union were "far from an agreement" and that "it is doubtful that the Drivers will ratify an agreement by October 8, 2008." As such, formal notices will be sent to all employees this week advising them that the Company will be sold, or, failing that, that it will close operations on January 5, 2009.

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