November 10, 2011 / 5:29 PM / 6 years ago

Toronto Star publisher offering staff buyouts

TORONTO (Reuters) - Torstar TSb.TO, the publisher of the Toronto Star, is offering immediate buyouts to editorial staff and plans to outsource ad-building, layout and editing duties, three Star journalists said on Thursday.

The Star, Canada’s biggest daily newspaper, wants to offer immediate layoff packages, reporter Richard Brennan wrote on his Twitter account.

A second source, who declined to be identified, said the newspaper was planning a “major trim” of staff to be completed by the end of the year.

The company later confirmed the buyout offer, but stressed the voluntary nature of any exits and said it did not have a target for how many employees would take the offer.

“This is a voluntary program for anybody who’s wishing to exit on their own terms,” Chief Financial Officer Lorenzo DeMarchi told Reuters.

He declined to give a timeframe or terms for the offer, which has not yet been formally introduced, or to comment on outsourcing efforts, which he said were unrelated.

The Star had been set to outsource some of the jobs earlier but agreed to a union proposal that reduced its operating costs, said a third source, who also said the Star was moving to outsource jobs.

The publisher of the Star, John Cruickshank, has called three town hall-style meetings to discuss the move with employees on Thursday and Friday.

Additional reporting and writing by Alastair Sharp; editing by Peter Galloway and Rob Wilson

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