Just how do you build a winning newspaper in this era of upheaval in the media industry? Peter Barbey, the CEO at Reading Eagle, has a swell idea.
Here is what this front-office genius has announced: Aging staffers still lumbering around the newsroom have been offered a cash buyout if they take an early — and in some cases late, very late — retirement. This will eliminate fat salaries that can be used to beef up the depleted staff with eager-beavers just out of journ school, as well as clear big bucks for Peter the Little to decorate his sprawling $26.5-million Greenwich Village crash pad with artifacts from the Titanic.
What could possibly go wrong with that strategy?
After all, three staffers with a combined 125 years of experience have been limping in and out of editor Harry Deitz's office all week (allegedly, this tip comes from the inside) to discuss their exit.
And what a glorious opportunity it is!
Each retiree can pocket $9,000 to hit the road, with the severance paid over three years, thus delivering a healthy tax break (for the Eagle). And the ex-pats won't have to worry about any co-pay for health care because they will not be part of the Eagle health plan anymore.
Oh, and since that nine grand is spread over three years, each retiree can purchase a nice case of craft beer each month while basking in the glow of being free from the shithole.
Take a number fellas. Harry has appointments booked solid all week.