Hearst Corp. has issued its formal WARN notice to the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, as required by law. The notice, which the Guild says was hand-delivered Friday, says The P-I will shut down some time between March 18 and April 1 if no buyer is found. It also says some P-I staffers — no numbers given — may be hired by a new Hearst entity that may assume operation of the paper's website. It is pretty vague, and pretty depressing. The notice posted on the Guild blog, reads as follows, according to the Guild version:
If a buyer is not found within 60 days, “it is anticipated that all positions and jobs at the P-I, including all jobs represented by the Guild, will be eliminated….
“Although it is difficult to provide an exact date of closure of the P-I, permanent layoffs of all employees will not occur any earlier than March 18, 2009 and may extend to April 1, 2009. Attached to this letter is a listing of the job titles of all positions in the bargaining unit being affected by this closure, and the names of the employees currently holding those positions….
“As you also know, some employees in the bargaining unit may be offered positions with a new Hearst entity that may assume operation of the seattlepi.com website if no buyer is found for the P-I. However, at present, we do not know if seattlepi.com will be assumed by another entity if no buyer is found, and if so, how many employees would be offered this option.”
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