Dow Jones Union Says 48 WSJ Workers Had Buyout Requests Accepted

Forty-eight union-represented employees at the Wall Street Journal had their buyout requests accepted, and layoffs are beginning Wednesday, the labor group that represents the workers said, citing its discussions with the newspaper’s representatives.

Employees in the Greater New York section, which is being folded into another section of the print newspaper, were being asked to meet with department leaders Wednesday, the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees told members in an e-mail. If all are let go, 19 union-represented workers would lose their jobs, the group said.

The Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., is scaling back on expenses as the newspaper industry grapples with a painful decline in print ads. Newspaper advertising revenue is expected to shrink to $5 billion by 2019 from a peak of $49 billion in 2005, according to the ad agency Magna Global.

The newspaper is also merging its Business & Tech and Money & Investing sections, and its Personal Journal and Arena sections will become part of the main news section of the paper, Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker told employees in a memo Wednesday.

“We must move to create a print edition that can stand on a sound financial footing for the foreseeable future while our digital horizons continue to expand,” he said.

The Journal extended buyout offers last month to management and union employees, saying it wanted a “substantial number” to take the buyout. Employees had until Monday to volunteer.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with News Corp. and the Journal in providing financial news and services.

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