The Philadelphia Inquirer is going through another round of voluntary buyouts this summer, with a May 31st application deadline recently passing.
Among the sports staffers taking the buyout and moving on are veterans Marc Narducci and Ed Barkowitz. Others have applied and are waiting to find out if their requests will be approved.
RE: Barkowitz, the news was first reported at the website of Ted Silary, the former Inquirer writer who retired in 2013:
“June 6 –
Best wishes going forward to Ed Barkowitz. Ed, long a provider of interesting nuggets for the Daily News, has accepted a buyout.”
We’re told the buyout package is significant, with one source describing it as “the best deal they’ve offered since these buyouts began.” The Inquirer was seeking 40 voluntary buyouts and this round of staff reductions will not result in layoffs if that number is not met, though reassignment is possible, according to a message shared by the NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia. In the case of departure dates, employees applying for the buyouts were able to request the specific time they would like to leave, which would allow the sports guys, for instance, to possibly finish out their respective seasons on their respective beats.
You’ve certainly read the work of Narducci and Barkowitz over the years.
Narducci joined the paper in 1983 as a stringer, and then worked from 1984 to 2001 covering South Jersey sports as part of what was known as the “suburban staff.” He made the switch to the “main staff” after those first 17 years, which saw him cover pretty much everything as a hard-working and talented jack-of-all-trades. Marc has done Temple and high school football, Union games, college sports, pro sports, etc. He’s had a couple of stints on the Sixers beat and will finish his Inquirer career covering this 2021 playoff run.
Barkowitz first started with the company in 1990 as a part-time “copy boy,” which was an entry-level gig. He’d do various tasks around the newsroom while covering for full timers when possible, and eventually made the move to sports in 1992. His break was covering the 1993 Phillies team, which made that run all to the way to the World Series, and then Barkowitz worked general assignment for the next 25 or so years, covering anything and everything. He was most recently handling sports betting topics and slid over to cover the Flyers following Sam Donnellon’s 2019 departure.
There will be more buyouts coming, they just haven’t been approved yet.