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Sixteen newsroom employees at The North County Times have accepted the newspaper’s buyout offer, reducing the editorial staff by approximately 12 percent.

In an e-mail sent to staff yesterday, Editor Kent Davy said the paper would have to “triage coverage” to make up for the reductions, which include three senior editors (Michael Donnelly, Kathy Day and Denis Devine) and five reporters (Scott Marshall, Marga Kellogg, Adam Kaye, Sarah Wilkins and Michael Klitzing).

“We’re obviously losing a whole lot of really good people and that makes me very sad,” Davy wrote.

The newspaper had offered buyouts to as many as 20 of its 130 newsroom employees, giving a week’s pay for every year of service. The paper is owned by Lee Enterprises, a publicly held Iowa-based company that recently posted a 17 percent loss in its quarterly profits. The Times blamed the reductions in the real estate market downturn and declining advertising revenues.

The departing employees work their last day Friday.

ROB DAVIS

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