The total number of "applicants" to take the buyout, and the fact that all "applications" were accepted are also confirmed. This comes from an internal AJC memo leaked/distributed to Poynter Online.
HometownHeadlines.com has published most of the names of those accepting the buyout. The cuts run across business, sports, travel, etc. Another source confirmed that Barnhart and Bisher were on the list of those leaving the publication.
(Image: TD Club of Memphis)
Bisher reportedly told the human resources staff, "And don't even think about offering me any of that new fangled Union money." Ok, that part isn't totally true (ht - Orson on the joke idea).
I have never understood the idea of offering voluntary buyouts. To me, it's a chicken #$%^ way to do business. As an executive or business owner, you need to step up, stack rank your employees and then decide who stays and who goes.
You know who takes Voluntary Buyouts? People who can get jobs elsewhere and old folks. Yes, it's a nice way to remove expensive old staff without facing wrongful termination lawsuits. But is the risk of losing top talent worth it?
I sincerely respect the work guys like Chip Towers and Mike Knobler do, but Tony Barnhart is the crown jewel of the sports section. That's why a college football fan in Michigan would even know or care about his departure.
To give you a sense of the AJC's business model problems, here's a sample sales call to me from them
AJC: Would you like to subscribe to the AJC?Terrence Moore didn't take a buyout. Lucky us.
Me: Why would I do that? I get it for free online.
AJC: You don't get the coupons online.
Me: Does that mean you're in the coupon selling business?
As someone suggested in the comments section, Barnhart will land on his feet. If we end up with an SEC Network, he would make an excellent flagship employee.