Stu VanAirsdale‘s first big Defamer story is about three Newsday head-choppings, and all of them in the section devoted to projected entertainment. Movie editor Pat Wiedenkeller and veteran critics Jan Stuart and Gene Seymour are reportedly “accepting buyouts that would end their tenures at the Tribune-owned tabloid effective March 28,” per cost-cutting strategies mandated by Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell.
And “it’s no golden handshake, either, ” writes Stu, “with one source telling Defamer the buyout deals topped out around 33 weeks salary, a fraction of remaining vacation days and less than a year of benefits.
“The departures of Stuart and Seymour, the latter a recent chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle, mark the third such high-profile exit at a New York tabloid in the last month, following Jack Mathews retirement from the Daily News. Look for Newsday music writer Rafer Guzman and reliable freelancers like John Anderson and company to pick up film assignments along the way.”
If he’s being this rough on the Newsday guys, you’d think that Zell would be applying more guillotine moves on an even-steven basis. As in the L.A. Times entertainment section…no?