Here's an update on the buyout situation at a Roanoke daily newspaper, which we told you about a week or so ago. It appears that reporter Duncan Adams and copy editors Mark Bullock and Jerry Stone are not eligible because they come up short of the 20 years of service necessary to qualify. Our contact said they might be. The combination of 20 years' service and 55 years of age is the cutoff.
A contact speculated this morning that metro columnist Dan Casey would be eligible for the buyout. He is not. He has been at the paper 17 years and is 53 years old, so he doesn't make the cut on either count. It would have been quite an irony if Dan had come in under the wire. The guy he replaced as columnist, Joe Kennedy, lost his job in a buyout in 2007.
One of those who apparently does qualify for the buyout is Publisher Debbie Meade, who has been at the paper for nearly 30 years and, by my accounting, is right on the edge of 55 (she was a Virginia Tech student in 1976). It will be interesting to see if she takes the buyout, providing she is eligible.
The details of the buyout--again from somebody who has a copy of the memo--include 22 weeks' pay and $5,000. There is no mention of an insurance stipend. Employees leaving would likely be eligible for COBRA coverage (which they pay for about 18 months before being left uninsured).