PORTLAND - The Oregonian has announced a voluntary buyout program that includes all newsroom staffers and selected employees on its business side.

In a Friday letter to employees, interim Publisher Patrick Stickel said the newspaper's financial situation "remains critical" and will require further staff reductions before year's end.

The offer would provide two weeks of pay for each year of service, plus health care for an equivalent period, capped at six months. Employees with unused sick time would also be compensated for that.

The Oregonian has taken a series of steps over the past two years to reduce staff in the economic downturn. It reaches more than 700,000 print readers daily and more than a million unique viewers through OregonLive.com every month. The Oregonian has about 850 full- and part-time employees.

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