The San Diego Union-Tribune has offered voluntary buyouts to newsroom employees with more than 30 years of experience.

The decision, confirmed by four sources, comes less than 24 hours after Copley Press Inc., the Union-Tribune‘s parent company, said it would explore the sale of seven Illinois and Ohio papers. No public announcement has been made.

The Union-Tribune has had a hiring freeze in place since April, and its circulation has been dropping – mirroring a nationwide trend. The paper’s Sunday circulation dropped 12 percent in the last year, losing 52,000 Sunday subscribers. Its daily circulation dropped 10.5 percent, losing about 36,000 subscribers.

Copley Press, a privately held company owned and run by CEO David Copley, has positioned itself to sell off all of its newspaper holdings except for the Union-Tribune. In June, the company said it would explore the sale of three Los Angeles-area newspapers. And Copley Press recently cut its operations closer to home. In early September, the company said it would merge Today’s Local News, a San Marcos-based community newspaper, into the Union-Tribune. Twenty-six employees were laid off.

Are you taking the buyout? Send me an e-mail or call me: 619/325-0525.


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