Walter Mencken 7 p.m., Dec. 10
Copley Slashes Retiree Health Benefits
Copley Newspapers today (March 17) announced deep cuts in health care coverage for retirees. In trying to lure certain employees to take buyout offerings the last several years, the company had promised to pay 75 percent of medical coverage until the employee was eligible for Medicare. This will end March 31-- giving these retirees only two weeks to plan. The company will cover 75 percent of the costs of COBRA, or temporary insurance, until the end of the year in most cases. COBRA permits employees leaving a company to continue group coverage, usually for a short period. However, the expense is high. In its message to retirees, Copley said, "We know these changes may be difficult for you and your families." The message spoke of difficult economic times, particularly for the newspaper business. One revelation of sorts: the company said it is preparing "for sale of its remaining newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune." Some had wondered if the company had abandoned that effort.