By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s newspapers are going ahead with their plan to cut the staff by ten percent. The company told the newspaper guild that 21 people took the buy-out offer by yesterday’s deadline, but it still wants to lay off 19 staffers.

Philadelphia Media Holdings has targeted five Inquirer and two Daily News reporters for lay-off, along with copy editors and newsroom support jobs, but the newspaper guild argues no lay-offs are necessary, and says it will try negotiating but arbitrate if necessary to stop the lay-offs.

Guild executive director Bill Ross also faults publisher Greg Osberg for killing stories about the sale of the paper and focusing on new platforms that haven’t panned out.

“The print product is being ignored and that’s really disturbing to all our members.”

Company spokesman Mark Block disagrees.

“There’s a lot of real successes in the company but we’re not going to get into the back and forth of going line by line challenging the announcement of the guild
Block insists the lay-offs are necessary to keep the paper operating, even though they were announced after the paper went up for sale and the potential buyers have said they want the papers as a “civic duty.”

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