Two down, one to go

The buyout goal has been met and exceeded. By some accounts more than half the newsroom may have signed papers by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Many are theorizing that the buyout count for the building could approach 400, doubling the goal set at the beginning of this process.

There is no word yet on whether all will be given the proposed severance package, but that question is moot without agreement from the drivers union.

That may be close according to an account published at

The newspaper also appeared to be close to a settlement with its union drivers, which must be achieved by Oct. 8 to meet the final condition. An agreement with the mailers union was ratified last month.

Publisher George Arwady said in an email to the staff that discussions with the drivers union are continuing and stressed that the deadline is final.

“I urge the Drivers to vote ‘yes’ to protect their own jobs and those of everyone else who works at The Star-Ledger,” Arwady said in his email this evening.

Donald Newhouse, president of Advance Publications, owner of The Star-Ledger, confirmed that the buyout numbers appear to have been achieved, although he stressed that non-union employees have until the end of business on Oct. 7 to rescind. And he indicated progress with the drivers union.

“The union leadership is in favor of the agreement we reached, but they have not scheduled a vote to my knowledge,” he said.

What will be left when all is done? And what will be done with it? We can only wait and see.

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