Guild, Newsweek pact clears way for Daily Beast merger

The Newspaper Guild of New York today announced an agreement that will enable Newsweek magazine to complete its pending merger with the Daily Beast and include a wide range of editorial employees of the website under the existing Guild-Newsweek collective bargaining agreement.

Under the “Framework Agreement” between the Guild and Harman Newsweek LLC, non-supervisory editorial employees who produce the Daily Beast will be covered by the same contract that now covers many of Newsweek’s reporters, editors and other news employees, upon completion of the merger. The agreement was a necessary prelude to the completion of the merger of the two news organisations that was announced December 6, 2010.

“Newsweek’s Guild members are proud to be part of this exciting new venture that will combine the journalistic resources of a venerable news magazine and a cutting-edge news website in an editorial workplace in which all employees will have a voice,” said Guild President Bill O’Meara. “We look forward to working with the operation’s highly respected new editor, Tina Brown, and her team from the Daily Beast as they join with the Newsweek staff to produce high-quality journalism in the digital age.”

The parties agreed to meet within 90 days of the completion of the merger to explore “cost-effective solutions designed to ensure the viability of the Company.”

Under the agreement, Daily Beast employees whose pay is below the minimums set by the Guild-Newsweek contract will be brought up to scale and their seniority will be dovetailed with that of Guild-represented Newsweek employees. The agreement also calls for voluntary buyouts to be offered to certain classes of current Newsweek employees.  Details regarding the buyouts still have to be negotiated.

The Guild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, represents nearly 3,000 print, photo and video journalists and other employees at 18 New York-area companies, mostly news organisations, including The New York Times, Time Inc., Thomson Reuters, Consumers Union and Standard & Poor’s.

USA, New York, NY

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