The Star Tribune's newsroom budget will be cut 10 percent, with a plan in place by June 1, according to a knowledgeable source. The reduction amounts to $2.5 million — part of $20 million in cuts Strib management wants to deliver to lenders by June 30.
Management has just entered formal contract negotiations with the Newspaper Guild, which represents newsroom employees. According to the source, if the $2.5 million can't be cut cooperatively, layoffs are an obvious option.
Management does not need the Guild's permission to cut jobs. If layoffs occur, newest hires lose their positions first. Last year, the paper offered buyouts so more experienced, higher-paid newsroom staff would quit; no word if that approach will be tried this time.