The Star-Ledger announced today that 200 non-unionized employees will have to take a buyout by Oct. 1. If the total is not met, the Newhouses’ Advance Publications is threatening to sell the newspaper. Reporters are not unionized, according to a source close to the paper.
"There are quite a few reporters—some who have been there their whole career—who will be gone by Oct. 1," said the source. "Most of them weren’t planning on leaving until this morning."
Prior to this morning, it had been a typically strong week for the paper. Since July 20, The Star-Ledger has been rolling out a hard-hitting investigative series that examined the shady financing practices of the Rutgers University Athletic Department. The Star-Ledger‘s discoveries—including $250,000 being handed under the table to the football team’s head coach—led New Jersey’s comptroller to announce earlier this week that the state would start an investigation.
Also, Jeff Jarvis was so impressed with The Star-Ledger‘s new daily newcast for the Internet that he proclaimed, "I have seen the future and it’s in Jersey."
"The problem is going to be the amount of instututional knowledge walking out the door," said the source, after the buyout announcement. "These reporters know the state better than anyone—they are fierce watchdogs."