The paper announced today that it had laid off “15 full-time and three part-time employees, including 11 full-time employees in the newsroom.” Among those who were let go: Monica Bartoszek, a senior editor and the newspaper’s reader representative; outdoors columnist Alan Wechsler; sports editor Bill Callen; and Marlene Kennedy, business editor and a weekly columnist, the paper said.
However, the paper’s union, the Albany Newspaper Guild — which covers nine of the fired staffers — has claimed that the company must enter a 45-day negotiation period before any layoffs can take place, MediaJobsDaily reports. In response the paper’s owner, Hearst Corp., has said that the employees weren’t exactly fired, just put on 45-day paid leave, after which they will most likely lose their jobs — which is in keeping with union requirements of a “negotiation period” before any layoffs can take place.
“Reductions in staff are never pleasant,” publisher George R. Hearst III told the paper yesterday. “Many of the employees have served with distinction, and our very best wishes are with them as they continue with their professional and personal lives.”