OLD Media Moves

Key to buyout coverage is how many take the offer

September 16, 2006

TheStreet.com’s Marek Fuchs noted that the coverage this week of Ford Motor Co.’s decision to accelerate its buyout offer to employees and close plants has finally put the story in the correct angle.

Marek FuchsFuchs wrote, “The key is how many will take the buyouts, and no one but that big prognosticator in the sky knows.

“This is a departure, fortunately, from past coverage of layoff announcements, which tends to start with the number of people to be laid off and only gets around to the terms of the layoff at the bottom of the article.

“As The Business Press Maven has growled before, this bass-ackward reporting has led investors into serious trouble in the past. Invariably, buyout terms have not been juicy enough for the rank-and-file.

“The targeted number of employees often haven’t taken the terms and — lo and behold — the company has, a quarter or two down the road, been forced to announce ‘additional write-offs,’ which translates into more money to get that original number of employees to shuffle off to shuffleboard.

“Here the coverage is as it should be — on the offer, with the number of people who will take it an open question.”

Read more here.

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