Connecticut Public offers buyouts to employees

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Connecticut Public's headquarters in Hartford.

Connecticut Public has offered buyouts to longtime employees throughout the organization.

CEO Mark Contreras, who started at the organization in March, told Current that the “completely voluntary” buyouts were offered to employees who have been with the organization for more than 20 years. No layoffs are planned, he said, and no employees had accepted the buyout offer as of Thursday.

The station is offering buyouts because it has the “financial strength” to do so, Contreras said, and out of “a desire to recognize employees who want to make a pivot in their life.” Connecticut Public received more than $30 million in the 2017 spectrum auction.

Discussions and strategic planning within the station have focused on “how to increase the number of people within the organization that create content,” Contreras said. “So the traditional theme that you get in a story like this is that companies are cutting journalism jobs. That’s not even remotely close to the case here.”

“For some reason, they want to get some bodies out the door,” said Colin McEnroe, host of an eponymous talk show on Connecticut Public’s WNPR, to New England Public Radio. “And if it’s not because of fiscal austerity — I guess that’s what we’d like to know. If it’s not because of fiscal austerity, what’s the strategy behind it?”

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