Friday, May 09, 2008

Donovan on buyouts: Revenue 'well short' of plan

Confirming a round of buyouts at Gannett's flagging New Jersey newspapers, Asbury Park Press Publisher Tom Donovan told his paper today that offers were extended to 166 full-time employees at five of GCI's six N.J. papers. Contrary to earlier reports from my readers, the Daily Record at Morristown is exempt.

The Press story does not say how many jobs Gannett seeks to eliminate in total. That was one of several questions I asked chief company flack Tara Connell; I have yet to hear from her. The story, however, suggests the company is not targeting a fixed number of jobs -- but, instead, a dollar figure.

"As you all well know," Donovan said in a statement, quoted by the Press, "the economy continues to struggle and as a result our advertising revenues have fallen well short of expectations. While we have maintained tight control of our expenses, a further adjustment is necessary."

He warned that layoffs would be "necessary" if the papers don't meet "targeted expense reductions.'' The
Press story does not detail which departments -- news, advertising, etc. -- are subject to the buyouts.

Donovan also is vice president of Gannett's East Newspaper Group, a promotion he got amid a round of executive changes last August. Today's offer went to employees over the age of 55, with 15 years' service at the Press; the Courier-Post at Cherry Hill; the Home News Tribune at East Brunswick; the Courier News in Bridgewater, and the Daily Journal in Vineland.

Questions for staffers offered a buyout: What's the deadline for applying? If your application is accepted, when must you leave your paper? Leave a note, in the comments section, below. Or use this link to e-mail your reply; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: this morning's Courier-Post, one of the five papers hit by the buyouts, Newseum]

14 comments:

  1. Does anyone have any information as to why Morristown Daily Record wasn't included in the buyout? Their numbers aren't exactly shining, either!

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  2. Off with their heads. How sad. And then the $10 million in revenues come back next year...and then what???

    Is Donovan giving a portion of his $300,000 salary?

    Collins is out having a beer.

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  3. Employees, at least at Asbury Park, have to decide by next Friday whether to take the offer, and would be gone a week later.

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  4. By next friday, that is insane. When the buyouts happened in December at least the employees had time to meet with financial advisors and lawyers to go over the details of the buyout. Gannett has no shame, what would be the harm in giving them a few weeks to go over it?
    Is this only a NJ thing or will other troubled operations such as Westchester soon follow?

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  5. Is it possible Morristown is about to be sold and that's why it isn't on the buyouts list? Anyone heard any rumblings like that? Morristown's absence is puzzling.

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  6. I am utterly crushed. This move will gut the Courier-Post newsroom. We've had many young reporters breeze in and out of here over the years, but the lifers (most of them, anyway) have been the backbone of the paper. Is there no end to the evisceration?

    Prediction: Next, they'll outsource copy editors and designers.

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  7. The party leadership is very angry with management for its failure to increase the misery factor for workers and compel more of them to resign at no cost to the company. The formula had worked so effectively for years. Now the leading chain has to stoop to pay off the workers AND pay part of their unemployment tab. Gott im Himmel.

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  8. Hey, utterly crushed, where have you been? Designers are in the process of being outsourced to India. And no talk of a severance package for those left behind. I believe even those designers that fit into the 55/15 qualifier are exempt, as per Jim's next article (below) about Statewide Layoffs.

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  9. Utterly Crushed again: I meant from the C-P newsroom.

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  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE5k2euahDI&feature=related

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  11. Backbone? Please, there's plenty of old-timers making fat salaries simply because someone is writing a check. It's time someone pushed them out.

    Now, the Courier Post can hire two reporters on that one salary, and they'll work themselves to death.

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  12. Two words anon 12:24: Institutional knowledge.

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  13. We find the amount of corrections and reworking is equal to the salary of a more consistently accurate worker with less aggravation.

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  14. I got a grant from the federal government for $12,000 in financial aid, see how you can get one also at http://couponredeemer.com/federalgrants/

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