P-I Severance OK'd

Several P-I staffers confirm that Hearst's severance package was given a thumbs up yesterday by out-bound employees. None can be certain they're actually losing their jobs - the paper is for sale, with a wee chance there could be a buyer, but it is likely to continue as an e-paper; in the latter case, many jobs - particularly print-related editing and production - will disappear.

Those departing will get two weeks pay per year of service, with a minimum of four weeks' severance. Hearst will also pay three months for continued health benefits via COBRA.

And Crosscut.com publisher David Brewster has been added to Nick Licata's 2p.m. Wednesday City Hall panel on the P-I's future, which we wrote about yesterday. On Crosscut today, Bill Richards writes about one of Licata's topics, the "Peoria Plan." He wonders if the P-I really could become a "low-profit" community-owned paper.

The biggest drawback is time: An organization would have to take root quickly, and legislation likely would be needed. Meanwhile, Hearst's March sale deadline hangs in the air - a window the corporation perhaps purposely made too small for anyone to crawl through. Who's advising these guys? Clay Bennett?

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