Globe and Mail offering severance packages, layoffs likely

As print advertising revenues continue to tumble, Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley announced to employees on Friday that the company is asking all staff to consider voluntary severance packages.

While the packages are voluntary for the time being, Crawley’s email memo notes that layoffs are likely in the future.

Here is the full text of Crawley’s email to Globe employees:

From: Mahoney-Crichton, Irene On Behalf Of Crawley, Phillip
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 9:00 AM
To: ~All Staff All Branches (GAM)
Subject: Voluntary Separation

Please find attached two documents relating to a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) available as of today to all Globe and Mail staff.
At 3pm today I will be holding a Town Hall in Boardrooms A, B and C at Front Street, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the program.
Those not able to attend in person can watch it on your desktop, in head office, King Street and our bureaux across the country. You can submit questions via email to Stella Wilson (details to follow) .
The sharp downturn in print advertising revenue in the last six months leaves me with no alternative but to reduce staff costs. Helped by your suggestions after the last Town Hall in November, we have made substantial progress in cutting spending across the company, but not nearly enough to offset the loss of sales revenue.
I regret to say that voluntary severance alone is unlikely to produce a large enough response to avoid layoffs.
Department heads and union representatives have been informed of the terms of the VSP, which will be administered by our Human Resources staff.
If you have questions or comments regarding the VSP, please contact HR immediately, as we want to ensure that employees are provided a quick response to questions.