Miami Herald Offers Buyouts to Critics, Columnists and More

The Miami Herald has racked up three Pulitzers for commentary and another three for photography in its history, but the Doral-based paper is looking to shed some fat in both departments. According to a memo obtained by Romenesko and Random Pixels, the paper announced to staff this morning that they're offering a "voluntary separation program" to its critics, columnists, photographers and copy editors.

Here's the full text of the email sent out my executive editor Mindy Marques:

Today we are offering a limited Voluntary Separation Program.

This voluntary program is limited to full-time employees in three groups - photo, the copy desk and columnists/critics. All eligible employees will be contacted by their supervisors this morning.

There will be no involuntary separations as part of this program.

We'll meet with the photo staff at 2 p.m. and with copy editors at 4 p.m. in the Everglades conference room.

I'll host a general staff Q&A at 5 p.m. today in the Gene Miller conference room.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your supervisor or see Dave Wilson, Rick Hirsch or me.

The Herald is already down one columnist after Myriam Marquez left to take over as executive editor of their Spanish sister paper El Nuevo Herald. Their remaining columnists include nationally syndicated Pulitzer Prize winner Leonard Pitts Jr., Carl Hiaasen, Fred Grimm, Andres Oppenheimer, and Fabiola Santiago. The Herald also employs critics that cover movies, television, dance, theater and restaurants.

While no one will be forced out, the fact that the Herald is still looking to trim its staff after years of layoffs and a move to Doral is yet another sign of continuing trouble at the daily.

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