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Globe and Mail publisher Phillip CrawleyThe Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail is offering voluntary separation agreements to staff, accelerating its bid to cut costs amid a slump in print advertising, while it increases its efforts in new media.

"We're still hiring," said Phillip Crawley, The Globe's publisher, in an afternoon address to staff. But "we've got too many skills that we don't need any more."

The paper erected a paywall last October to boost circulation revenue, joining hundreds of other newspapers in North America hoping to make up for losses in print advertising by charging readers for online content.

When The Globe last offered a voluntary separation program during the recession in early 2009, almost 60 staff members participated.

This time, "If we get 60, I'll be happy," said Mr. Crawley. That number would represent about 8 per cent of The Globe's 770 employees.

He praised the paper's owners for investing in growing areas of the business, such as online video and other new media applications.

"We have the brand, the content, the audience, and the ownership. That's why we're planning for the future by doing this now."

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