I really, really don’t want to write this.
But I’ve learned from a credible source that the management of Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com, envisions dumping another 35 people from the payroll over the next six months.
This would be in addition to roughly four dozen recent departures through buyouts and layoffs.
The specific information that came my way is this: In a March 20 offer to buy the company, the group including New Jersey businessmen Lewis Katz and George Norcross proposed paying $57 million, with certain adjustments – among them severance costs associated with planned termination of roughly 35 more employees over the next six months. The planned terminations were disclosed, according to the source, in a management presentation the day before the offer, which would have been a week ago.
PMN spokesman Mark Block said he couldn’t comment on the management presentation or any plans for staff reductions.
“As of today, the only ones I can comment on are the ones we’ve spoken of before,” Block said.
For any more on the management briefing, he referred me to Evercore Partners Inc., the New York investment bank managing the sale. They haven’t commented so far in the process, but I have a call in to them.
UPDATE: This commentary on the condiction and prospects for Philly papers by the Daily News’ Will Bunch is worth reading.