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Scholastic Begins Hiring Freeze; 110 Accept Retirement Package

Children’s publisher says it doesn’t have plans for company-wide layoffs.

By Jason Fell

In an effort to reduce its company-wide workforce, Scholastic says 110 employees have accepted a voluntary retirement package which was offered to staffers aged 50 or older and who have been with the company 10 or more years.

Fewer than 10 of those who accepted the retirement package come from the company’s magazine publishing business, a spokesperson told FOLIO:. While Scholastic doesn’t have plans for company-wide layoffs, the company will further reduce its headcount by instituting a hiring freeze on most open positions and by “merging functions to reduce redundancies,” the spokesperson said.

For the fiscal first quarter 2009, New York City-based Scholastic reported a net loss of $49.1 million from $285 million in revenue, down from a loss of $2.8 million on $531.3 million in revenue during the same period last year.

Scholastic publishes 32 classroom magazines as well as several trade and consumer magazines. Through the first nine months, Scholastic Parent & Child saw ad pages skyrocket 47.3 percent, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Estimated ad revenue  spiked 67.7 percent to $34.6 million.

By Jason Fell

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