Bill Husted has applied for Denver Post buyout, but not sure yet if paper will make deal

Earlier this month, we reported about a buyout offer from the Denver Post, with employees being told that if fifteen to twenty of them didn't take the deal, layoffs could follow.

We've now confirmed that one of the paper's most prominent names -- columnist Bill Husted, 63 -- has applied for a buyout. But he won't know for a while if the offer will be accepted.

Why not? The Post doesn't want personnel from an entire department to leave, potentially crippling coverage in that area. As a result, the paper is looking for a certain number of employees from different editorial areas -- and if too many from one want to split, supervisors have reserved the right to pick and choose which requests to take.

Employees have until November 21 to submit an application for the buyout; those who do get a seven-day period during which they can change their mind. So it may be a month or so before Husted, who's spent fifteen years at the Post, and other applicants learn if they'll be staying or going.

We don't know how many others have applied thus far. But given the current state of the print journalism industry, most newsroom observers believe this will be the last buyout deal they'll have to consider. After that, layoffs will be the first option.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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