The company could make an announcement as soon as today, following recent speculation that newspaper employees will be required to take a week off without pay during the current quarter.
But I think something bigger may be afoot, involving a more sweeping round of cost cuts -- all timed to the fourth-quarter earnings release in perhaps two weeks. Gannett hopes to report good traffic results for the ContentOne Obama inauguration trial run. Plus, there would be more payroll savings to trumpet, assuming this mandatory week-off plan comes to pass.
But unless there's surprise good news on revenue or expenses, CEO Craig Dubow will likely need to gin up something more to offer impatient investors. For that reason, I wonder if Corporate is planning a more dramatic round of trimming print newspapers.
This might entail shuttering entire news or features sections, in favor of websites and mobile devices. It could mean a bigger ramp-up of the ContentOne web-based news service. (Or is it a web-pagination program, allowing one editor to post a Britney Spears story and photo simultaneously on all 85 U.S. newspaper websites?)