In the latest round of Tribune Company belt tightening, Hartford Courant execs decided the paper can do without longtime political reporter-turned-columnist Michele Jacklin. They offered her a serverance package yesterday.
Word of company wide layoffs at the Tribune Company hit the press this week. However, initial reports indicated Courant personnel would be spared. “Three other Tribune newspapers in Connecticut – The Hartford Courant, Greenwich Times and The Advocate of Stamford – said Wednesday no job cuts had been announced at their companies,” the Associated Press reported earlier this week. By yesterday, though, Courant Publisher Jack Davis issued a memo to the paper’s employees announcing the bad news.“I regret that we will have to experience additional job reductions in the coming weeks—through attrition, leaving open positions unfilled, voluntary separations and layoffs—totaling about 25 positions,” Davis wrote in the memo. “Starting today, News and Editorial Page employees with certain job titles and specific years of service will be offered a voluntary employee separation plan,” he continued.Jacklin’s column appears in the editorial section. She is a fixture of the paper’s state Capitol coverage and one of its most recognizable political writers. It is unclear whether she will accept management’s offer. Jacklin declined to comment this morning.The Tribune Company was hit with a billion dollar tax charge in September, resulting in an 82 percent drop in its third quarter profits. Davis was not immediately available for comment. He tried to sound upbeat in his memo.“Our service to readers and the public is unwavering, as we continue to be the most comprehensive and responsible information provider in our region—delivering hard-hitting investigative stories, critical town coverage, editorial leadership, innovative online extensions and arts and culture news second to none in the market,” Davis wrote.