Reuters plans buyouts, job cuts in United States

NEW YORK – The Reuters news agency is planning voluntary buyouts and seven jobs cuts in the United States, along with the relocation of its Washington editing desk, its journalists’ union said Thursday.

The buyout plan, offered to employees who have worked for the news wire for more than 18 years, will provide severance above the standard contract, according to the Newspaper Guild of New York, which says 97 of its members meet the requirements.

Reuters management also informed the union of its plan to cut seven union-represented editorial jobs: two positions in New York, which will be outsourced to Bangalore, India, and five in Miami, where the agency will keep just one person.

Reuters also plans to close its editing desk in Washington and to bring those duties to its New York office. The current editors will have the option of either moving to New York or transferring to any open reporting positions in Washington, according to the union.

The management plans to finalize the staff reductions and the desk closings by the end of 2013.

Reuters had announced last week it planned to cut some five percent of its editorial staff, according to a source close to the company.

The union reported the same figure but emphasized management representatives, during a meeting Wednesday, did not clarify whether the employees who take the buyout will be counted among the five percent.

Reuters is one of the world’s biggest global news agencies, along with Agence France-Presse and the U.S.-based Associated Press. It employs more than 2,800 journalists, according to the latest annual tally from its parent company, financial information group Thomson Reuters.

The newswire represents just a small part of Thomson Reuters, which mainly earns its revenues from financial terminals it provides in banks and trading floors and from the distribution of specialized financial and legal information.

The company had announced in February it was cutting 2,500 jobs in its “Financial and Risk” division, which oversees the financial terminals, and CEO James Smith warned last week more “tough decisions” were coming, in a message to the company’s 60,000 employees.

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