Bee gone!

Award-winning Sacramento Bee sports writer Mark Kreidler has accepted a buyout offer from the newspaper, Kreidler told SN&R via e-mail. Bee Metro columnist R.E. Graswich also has accepted a buyout offer, according to Bee executive editor Rick Rodriguez. Kreidler and Graswich clear out their lockers on Friday, January 19, joining three other longtime Bee employees—Herbert Sample, Laura Mecoy and Claire Cooper—who have taken buyout offers from the Bee in the past several weeks.

“It doesn’t affect me directly,” Rodriguez said when asked how the departure of so many experienced personnel at the same time would affect Bee coverage. “We have a good bench.”

The buyout offers, rumored to be six-months salary plus benefits, come as Sacramento-based McClatchy Company, the Bee’s parent, seeks to right its reeling financial ship in the wake of its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Knight Ridder last summer. Rodriguez, who’s been with the Bee for 27 years, said McClatchy’s financial difficulties had no bearing on the Bee buyout offers. “Pretty much each paper is expected to make its own budget,” he said. “That’s always been the case.”