The Kansas City Star reportedly told two reporters that only one job was left for their positions, and it was up to them to decide who would be let go.
KCConfidential.com, citing an unnamed newspaper staffer, identified the reporters as Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann. Dillon reportedly worked at the paper for 20 years and Bormann for 14.
"Karen Dillon has seniority, so she has the option of taking it or not taking it," the source told the blog. "And if she does, Dawn gets laid off. Dawn's a great person, but I think Karen will vote in favor of herself because she’s got teenage kids at home."
The blog posted that "Bormann is o-u-t," but the publisher of the paper told FoxNews.com that both reporters are still on the job.
Mi-Ai Parrish, the president and publisher, said these decisions are always difficult, but not unusual.
"We will, on occasion, allow employees to volunteer for a severance package when we are reducing in areas where there are two or more of the same types of positions," she said in a statement. "If an employee does not volunteer within a group, then the person with the least amount of tenure is included in the severance program."
She said KCConfidential.com is a blog where a former employee works and called reports of the interaction "mean-spirited."
"It's unfortunate because these are two good people," she said. "This is about real peoples' lives."
The paper has announced a workforce reduction by 17 positions.