Wall Street Journal Offering Buyouts To Stem Layoffs

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Sometimes, hitting the wrong button on an email simply means sending a follow-up apology of sorts. In the case of Ed Finn, the president of Barron’s, hitting “reply all” instead of “forward” meant sending an email on layoffs at the Wall Street Journal – never a good thing to hear about, especially when it’s coming from an executive.

The Wall Street Journal stated Friday that it wants a “substantial number” of newsroom employees to take a buyout, as  announced by WSJ editor-in-chief Gerard Baker in a memo sent to staff. The buyouts are intended to “limit the number of involuntary layoffs,” CNN reports.

This came two days after the publication said it would “revamp,” which includes a consolidation of sections, meaning fewer staff. The paper had massive layoffs last year as a result of its reorganization efforts and its focus on digital media instead of traditional print.

Baker said, “I regret of course the need for such a move and I appreciate deeply the dedication all of you continue to show through challenging times. Thanks to your hard work, the news department continues to produce world-class journalism every day and I’m confident this process is the right one to set us on the right footing for renewed growth in the years ahead.”

Barron’s is likewise owned by WSJ’s parent company, Dow Jones. Finn apparently intended to forward the WSJ email to executives to discuss what the layoffs might mean on Barron’s own intentions for its layoffs, which had not yet been made public. The email carried the following note:

The email Gerry Baker just sent about wsj buyouts says that dj is offering 1.5x the standard buyout package. Are we planning to go to the employees we are laying off at Barron’s next week and offer them 1x the standard package. That could create some problems. Please advise.

Finn, according to Politico, admitted the mistake.

Dow Jones CEO William Lewis declared that the company had a three-year plan to cut costs in order to address the drop in print advertising.

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