Voluntary Buyouts Start at Turner Broadcasting

Turner Broadcasting Tuesday sent a memo to staff that says some employees have been offered voluntary buyouts as part of the company’s cost cutting plan.

About 500 staffers were expected to be offered the buyouts, including people working at the company’s news and entertainment cable networks. It is not known how many will accept the buyouts or whether layoffs will follow if sufficient personnel savings do not result from the buyouts.

The buyout offer covers U.S. employees age 55 and up with 10 years of services to the company. On air talent and employees covered by a written employment agreement are excluded from the buyout.

New Turner CEO John Martin’s Turner 2020 plan is aimed at shifting costs to areas where the company sees opportunities for growth. When the plan was announced, staffers were warned that staffing changes were likely.

Below is the text of the memo:

To support the company’s stated focus on programming, monetization and innovation, we are identifying cost savings and shifting capital allocations to high-growth areas where investment will drive growth and profitability. As part of these efforts, we are offering a Voluntary Separation Program to regular status Turner Broadcasting employees on Turner’s U.S. payroll working in the U.S. and who are at least age 55 and have 10 or more years of service as of December 31, 2014, excluding on-air talent and employees covered by a written employment agreement.

Today, employees meeting these eligibility requirements will receive a confidential, personalized email detailing the program, its benefits and deadlines for acceptance, which is strictly voluntary. This enhanced benefit offering is just one vehicle the company is implementing as part of a comprehensive plan. Given the current focus on reducing costs and prioritizing investments to maximize company performance, Turner will also undertake additional reductions in staffing.

We are grateful to the tenured employees whose service and dedication to Turner Broadcasting have made an indelible mark on our business success.

Angela Santone,

Senior VP and chief human resources officer

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.