Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Breaking: GCI confirms mandatory unpaid week off, hopes move 'minimizes the need for any layoffs'

Following is a memo just released by CEO Craig Dubow (left), confirming recent speculation that Gannett will require about 35,000 U.S. workers to take a week off without pay in this quarter. There's now an FAQ. Plus, newspaper division chief Bob Dickey has issued a memo, too.

Today Gannett is implementing a furlough program across all U.S. divisions and at Corporate headquarters. This means that most of our U.S. employees -- including myself and all other top executives -- will be furloughed for the equivalent of one week in the first quarter. This furlough will be unpaid. Unions also will be asked to participate.

We are doing this to preserve our operations and continue to deliver for our customers while confronting the issues raised by some of the most difficult economic conditions we have ever experienced.

After much consideration, we decided a furlough program would be the fairest and least intrusive way to meet these fiscal challenges in the first quarter, which is traditionally the lightest time of the year. We sincerely hope this minimizes the need for any layoffs going forward.

As the day goes on, you will be receiving information from your division presidents explaining the program, including some FAQs to help answer any of your questions and address your concerns about pay and benefits.

We have made some very difficult decisions this past year, all with the goal of keeping Gannett strong and preparing for the future. I understand I have asked a great deal of you, and I regret adding to your burden with this program.

But my sincere hope is that this step removes the need to do anything more drastic, and that business conditions improve. As always, I thank you for your patience and loyalty to Gannett.

69 comments:

  1. Just got the news here. I can't believe it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ours came from Dickey. And "trapt" is my word verification!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another great job on this, Jim. Read about this first here days ago. Do we know anything more about the layoffs they are putting together?

    ReplyDelete
  4. We just got this note from the publisher in Westchester:

    Earlier today Bob Dickey, president of the Community Publishing Division of Gannett, announced companywide furloughs, which will be taken between now and March 29. This step is being taken to avoid layoffs during the first quarter of 2009. It is a reflection of the very difficult economic times we are experiencing, and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

    Each of us will be required to take a week without pay between now and March 29. Exempt salaried employees will be required to take five days off consecutively. Hourly, non-exempt employees will be required to take five days off as well; either one day at a time, or a combination of days to reach their five days off. We will ask employees for their preferred dates, but final decisions on when you take your furloughed time will be determined by business needs and the fact that we must complete this by March 29.

    There will be some part time non-exempt employees in the transportation and manufacturing areas that will not be affected by this furlough due to the nature of their work and our business requirements. Managers in those areas will inform the employees affected.

    I understand the difficulty this will cause, but it was determined this was the most equitable way we could manage the significant downturn in business we have experienced locally and nationwide. We continue to manage all other costs carefully.

    The time you take will be managed by your directors and managers, and pre-approved based on business needs. Your directors will work quickly to schedule the time you take off, and to manage the workload during your furlough. Some of you will be asked to take your time this month.

    Please cooperate with your managers to ensure the smoothest possible operation during the first quarter. If you have questions regarding your situation, please talk to Human Resources or your departmental managers.

    I know these actions are unusual, and difficult, but we’re seeing unprecedented times in our industry and in the economy. I appreciate your cooperation and dedication to our readers and advertisers. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As an hourly employee, I resent having to take any of these days off without pay, but I do appreciate that GCI at least allows for splitting these days off to disperse the financial burden over a period of time (as opposed to one week).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fact sheet
    Gannett furlough program
    First quarter, 2009

    Q. Why has the company decided to do furloughs?
    A. Experts are forecasting continued economic weakness for many months to come. While we need to continue to reduce expenses to ensure the overall health of the company, we also need to continue our operations and deliver for our customers. Several alternatives to layoffs have been proposed, but the one that seemed the fairest and the least damaging to our operations at this time was a furlough program. We hope it will minimize the need for layoffs and give us more time to monitor and assess the economic trends and realities.

    Q. Is everyone going to participate?
    A. All levels of employees in all divisions in the U.S. and the corporate staff will participate to some degree, depending on a variety of factors. That includes U.S. Community Publishing, which is beginning its program immediately; USA TODAY, Broadcast and Digital. Union represented employees will be asked to participate in lieu of layoffs. Top executives in the company are participating. Newsquest is taking other expense reduction measures at this time.

    Q. This is a financial hardship for me. Can there be an exception for me?
    A. There will be no individual hardship exceptions. We encourage all employees to make use of resources such as the Employee Assistance Program (See question “What other resources do I have…”).

    Q. Will there be any exceptions at all?
    A. Certain essential employees will be granted exceptions as a group. Also, there will be exceptions for newly hired employees and for other individuals and units who are impacted by other expense reduction measures.

    Q. How much money is the company saving by doing this?
    A. Each unit has been asked to supply an estimate of the savings. A final number is not available at this time.

    Q. Won't this compromise our ability to do our jobs, produce our products and satisfy our customers?
    A. We think doing another round of layoffs at this time would impact our operations more. Furloughs, while a scheduling challenge, provide more flexibility for our businesses and provide more value for our customers.

    Q. Why does this have to be done in the first quarter? Couldn't we have more notice?
    A. The first quarter for most of our operations is comparatively quiet and the volume is less. Plus, economists believe the first half will be the most difficult. Action needs to be taken now to continue to bring costs in line with revenues for the first quarter. Waiting until later in the year may magnify the problem and result in more stringent action.

    Q. Does this mean there won’t be any layoffs this year?
    A. The goal is to reduce the need for layoffs, but that decision entirely rests on what happens with revenues during the rest of the year. No final decision has been or will be made at this time.

    Q. Does this mean the company is in really bad shape?
    A. Not at all. This means we are taking action to avoid the plight of some other companies and industries. Gannett is a solid company and we want to stay that way. Instituting furloughs at this time is a sound financial move by a sound company that is facing severe economic conditions.

    Q. Have other companies done this?
    A. Many companies outside our industry such as the auto industry routinely use furloughs to cut costs or manage inventory. Some of our peers are doing this or considering furloughs and/or other cost reduction measures at this time.

    Q. Why can't I take a pay cut instead?
    A. Pay cuts, salary freezes and reduced work weeks are other methods of reducing costs that have been considered and may be considered in the future.

    Q. Can I give up a week of vacation instead?
    A. No, because vacation days are paid so there is no savings to the company.

    Q. Why are the rules different for hourly and salaried employees?
    A. Hourly employees and salaried employees are subject to different rules set by the U.S. Department of Labor. Basically, salaried employees are paid for a week’s worth of work, not in smaller increments.

    Q. May hourly workers take furlough time in part-day or hourly increments?
    A. At this time, we are asking the furloughs be taken in full day units.

    Q. If a salaried employee works while on furlough because of an emergency, can he or she then take a new furlough week later?
    A. Every exempt (salaried) employee will need to complete the furlough as one full payroll week. Furloughs need to be scheduled so back-up personnel are available. If that is not possible, the furlough will need to be undone and rescheduled.

    Q. Does the furlough include part-time workers?
    A. Yes. The furlough should be based on their scheduled or variable time and should be a week’s work of time.

    Q. Can I use part-time people to fill in for furloughed workers?
    A. Not if it expands their hours and costs more.

    Q. Can a salaried employee work on the weekends?
    A. There can be no work done during the payroll week at all so it depends entirely on the employee’s regular schedule and their regular days off. See the chart below, which shows that a pay period is one week long, regardless of how often an employee is paid (weekly, biweekly or monthly).

    Q. How will my furlough be scheduled?
    A. Furloughs will be scheduled so that normal operations can continue without interruption during the furlough period. You will have an opportunity to discuss your schedule with your supervisor, who ultimately must decide what works best and what you need to do to prepare for your being out.

    Q. Why can’t I do any work while I am out?
    A. There are very specific rules that must be followed. Federal and state laws require that employees, whether hourly or salaried, must not work while on an unpaid leave. That includes reading or responding to e-mails, calling or responding to calls from colleagues and being on site at your location at any time during your furlough days.

    Q. Who will cover my job while I am out?
    A. You and your supervisor should discuss how your responsibilities will be handled while you are out. If you have a company e-mail address and/or phone extension, you should leave a message directing people to the employee designated to reply in your absence.

    Q. If an employee works while on furlough because of an emergency, will he or she be required to take a new furlough at a later date?
    A. Everyone will need to complete the five-day or one payroll week furlough requirement. If there is an emergency and you need to return to work, a new furlough will be scheduled for a later date. Your supervisor must approve your return to work in advance.

    Q. What happens to my benefits while I am out on furlough?
    A. Benefits such as your health and life insurance continue during your furlough. Deductions for your health and optional life insurance coverage will be taken out of your paycheck for any week in which furlough day(s) are taken. You will continue to earn vacation credit during your furlough. If you participate in the Gannett 401(k) Savings Plan, no participant contributions and company-matching contribution will be made for the time you are not paid while on furlough. You are not eligible for a distribution of your pension benefits while you are out on unpaid leave. Garnishments will continue to be taken.

    Q. Am I eligible for state unemployment benefits while I am out on furlough?
    A. Unemployment benefits vary by state. Some states have waiting periods before unemployment benefits commence; others do not. You should contact your local unemployment office for more information.

    Q. What other resources do I have to assist me while I am out on furlough?
    A. Your local Employee Assistance Program can provide counseling or direct you to resources in your community to help you and your family through this difficult period. As a reminder, the Gannett 401(k) Savings Plan provides you with the ability to borrow from your account, provided you are eligible under the terms of the Plan. More information is on the Plan’s website at www.ybr.com/gannett, or you can call the YBR service center at their toll free number: 866.343.2333.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well here in POughkeepsie it just got announced 1 week off for Salaried employees and 5 days for hourly.




    VIA E-MAIL Jan. 14, 2009

    To: All US Community Publishing employees
    From: Bob Dickey

    The national recession is worsening and companies across America, inside and outside of our industry, are taking bold steps to help offset the current situation.

    Like others, Gannett has had to make some very difficult decisions over the past year. Having to reduce staff, reformat newspapers and end delivery to some customers has had a deep impact on our company and all of us. We have consulted with many of you on how to minimize the impact on our readers and customers.

    With your help and commitment, we have continued publishing quality products and populating Web sites daily. We are innovating and growing our digital businesses. We are working to emerge from this downturn with new energy and new solutions for our customers. Due to our financial management, Gannett remains an industry leader.

    Unfortunately, the advertising environment is still difficult and the economic issues unprecedented. We must take additional steps even as we focus on growing our local readership and market share revenues.

    As a result of your feedback, and in an effort to minimize the need for more layoffs, I have decided to take another approach as we enter 2009. To that end, every non-represented employee in the USCP division will be furloughed for five business days during this quarter. That includes me, your publisher, everyone. Unions will be asked to accept furloughs in lieu of layoffs. We all will be sharing the financial hardship.

    To be clear, a furlough means you will not work and will not be paid for furlough days.

    Exempt, salaried employees must take one full payroll week within the pay period. Non-exempt, hourly employees may take five days at any pre-approved time before the last weekend in March.

    If you are not sure which category you are in, check with your Human Resources representative. Also, a fact sheet is attached that should answer any questions you may have. If not, talk with your supervisor or email me at rdickey@gannett.com.

    I am determined to maintain our operations, provide the best local news and information for our readers and help keep Gannett a healthy company. I thank you in advance for joining me in achieving this goal.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gross profit in 2007: $2.8 billion
    http://finance.google.com/finance?q=gci

    ReplyDelete
  9. whoooooooo hoooooooo Another week off!!!
    I am grateful that I am financially sound (no debt what so ever) and able to enjoy my days off. I will probably go fishing in the mountains so there is no phone and no cell coverage.

    I do feel for those that are living paycheck to paycheck. My sincere condolences to those folks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. if you take it by days, you can't get unemployment -

    and it will be interesting to see how the jobs are classified, whether exempt or non-exempt

    this may actually make the case of FLSA

    ReplyDelete
  11. This same announcement also has come from USAT, so don't think it's just the community papers that are feeling this pain. USAT also froze salaries for a year as of Feb. 1, which I'm not seeing here.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is perfect timing for Wisconsin! Who wouldn't want a week off now? It's 3 degrees out with a wind chill of -15. Predictions for the next two days are wind chills of -30.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anyone want to place bets this might happen every quarter? God, I hope not.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 12:35 PM
    Exactly!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Furlough is most common as a military term for something desireable and usually paid.

    This is a temporary layoff, pure and simple.

    With the word "furlough," Dubow is putting lipstick on a pig in hopes we and Wall Street will overlook his management distress.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Pay cuts, salary freezes and reduced work weeks are other methods of reducing costs that have been considered and may be considered in the future.

    Say hello to April.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gladly I recently ended my employment with Gannett and truly could not be happier. My sincere thoughts and prayers go out to everyone still there especially those living paycheck to paycheck during these difficult times.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Will "retirees" who are still getting paid as consultants lose out on a week's pay too like the executives? Now there's an idea for a big savings.

    ReplyDelete
  19. anyone happen to know if nj is one of the states that will let you collect even if you are only out a week?

    ReplyDelete
  20. From Detroit:

    "Because of the intense attention and focus required to implement our strategic plan and meet our March 30 deadline, Detroit will not be included in the furlough program at this time. We very much appreciate Gannett’s support as we move forward with our transformation model." Dave Hunke

    ReplyDelete
  21. Counting myself as a progressive, I cannot help but overlook the inequity of scale here.
    A week without pay for Craig Dubow is not the same as a week without pay for many of our coworkers.
    A week off for Dubow, likewise for the publisher of the daily I'm employed at, means for them a tax cut perhaps and slightly less disposable income to spend on their luxuries.
    A week off for many of my fellow newsroom employees might mean many inconsiderable hardships.
    I'd feel better about this if upper-management were required to give back more.
    Fairness won't be on the table, in fact, the table has already been cleared.
    We here in Binghamton will simply keep on truckin' as we always do, I'm sure. Hearty Yanks are we.
    I simply wish we had a publisher who could go snowshoeing without getting lost.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Craig Dubow says he will participate in the furlough program too. Bully for him. But I think he should go further and, like many CEOs of troubled companies, agree to work this year for $1. I have a hard time thinking he will be getting his usual $8-million bonus and $1.2-million salary this year while I'm forking over one-third of my meager savings to cope with this furlough.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This from the publisher of the Detroit News Partnership:

    Most of you have probably seen or are aware of the announcement today from Craig Dubow that Gannett is implementing a furlough program whereby employees will be required to take unpaid leave for one week during the first quarter.

    Because of the intense attention and focus required to implement our strategic plan and meet our March 30 deadline, Detroit will not be included in the furlough program at this time. We very much appreciate Gannett’s support as we move forward with our transformation model.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Everyone will suffer because of this, including the readers. Think about it--when some part-timer has to fill in on a reporter's beat, they're not going to be able to accurately cover the story. That's the whole advantage of having the continuity of beat reporters. What I see happening is management will pressure employees to get in extra "filler" work done just before the furlough, so they don't feel as much of an impact. Just more uncompensated overtime.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I called YBR to see about insurance premiums and the service rep I talked to had no idea what furlough I was talking about. After some consultation, he said -- depending on how our status is reported by HR -- we would be billed for the insurance coverage for the week are are on furlough. So, we go in the hole.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Does furlough rhyme with Dubow? What does it all mean?

    ReplyDelete
  27. i also am looking for someone who knows whether i can collect unemployment in NJ with a furlough as short as 1 week.

    It is a wonderful time to be saving every cent for my upcoming wedding, Thanks again Gannett

    ReplyDelete
  28. Everyone should stop complaining. Would you rather lose your job and your benefits and have to go out in this job market to find a new job? Be thankful that this is their action of choice and you still have a job to go to when your week off ends!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. You are crazy if you think that this will end with one week without pay. After this quarter is over, it will show no benefit to the company. They will look to other means to reduce costs, probably layoffs again.

    ReplyDelete
  30. We received this from the editor in Westchester:

    -- Please submit to your department head by 1 p.m. on Thursday (tomorrow) your preference for time off. You may submit two options and we will do our best to accommodate one of those dates. Obviously, there may be areas where we have too many people requesting the same dates. If that is the case, we will make our decisions based on date of hire.
    -- Our goal is to have your entire department's furlough schedule decided by the end of day on Friday.
    -- In an attempt to balance the impact out as evenly as we can, we must have some people off next week. Volunteers would be greatly appreciated but, if we don't get enough volunteers, we will have to schedule some people for next week.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Walk your Talk!!1/14/2009 2:42 PM

    While we're all bemoaning taking a week off without pay, remember that our buddy Jim has been keeping us up-to-date for MONTHS without pay. Send your $5 in today. Honestly, you probably won't miss it, but it sure will add up for him. Don't do to Jim what they're doing to us.

    ReplyDelete
  32. We did unpaid furloughs at Westchester in '92. I don't remember all the details -- I seem to recall it was one day a month for a quarter or two.

    As far as I know, that was just a specific management response in Westchester to making their numbers during the recession. I'm not aware that other papers did it, but that was pre-Internet, so we weren't as well informed about what others were doing.

    Having just come to Westchester from the Arkansas Gazette, which shut down entirely in late '91, I wasn't shy about saying, don't complain -- be glad you have a job. I don't think that made me very popular with my new colleagues.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Its heartbreaking. As a former employee who worked in the field and at corporate, I'm familiar with the mindset of the top executives and what they're trying to do here. For management to say that they are going without a week's pay is nice, but they're not really going to hurt from this. Dubow and Gracia should be taking huge paycuts to show solidarity - I doubt they've ever lived paycheck to paycheck like so many of the employees they are depending on to keep the operation running. I'm happy to report that I've moved onto greener pastures, and at the end of the day, I'm just thankful I have a job. But GCI isn't going to recover from this damage. There will only be more and more cuts; those who think otherwise are just kidding themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Would it help much if all of us changed our w-4 forms? Temporarily increase your number of dependents to a large number, thereby decreasing tax deductions.
    Might get some people through the pay-free week.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The plan looks more like a week furlough per quarter and 10-15% more staff reductions if things don't pick up (i.e. about February 15).

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wondering how this affects people out on FMLA. More unpaid time off or will FMLA time off count?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey 3:14

    Is this speculation or fact? That would mean an entire month off w/o pay. Yikes.

    ReplyDelete
  38. If this company was smart, it would request sizable pay and/or benefit cuts from all employees to preserve all jobs, rather than buy out, lay off then furlough ... buy out, lay off then furlough ... as appears to be the developing model. Then, it could maintain or improve the quality of its products, develop new and better ones, improve customer relations and maybe even, God forbid, do the unheard of -- promote its products.

    The mode it's in now is "The Great Shrinking, Disappearing Gannett." See ya next boomtime, Gannett (if you're still around). Until then, you're just getting more invisible.

    Ultimately, Gannett should embark on a concerted stock-buyback, employee-ownership plan anchored by a board of directors elected by the employees. The publically-owned news company model is proving to be a disaster, even with a company that's been skinflint-cheap all along and should have had enough in reserve to weather this.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Here's the kicker for me: hourly folks can take their furlough a day at a time to spread out the hardship, but exempt people have to take theirs all in one week. It is going to be rough.

    ReplyDelete
  40. yeah well from what i see here in nj... salaried people make a sizeable amount more than hourly people... i love it when people take a salary position, live high on the hog for a decade or so, and then when it's time to sacrifice a little (maybe work more than 32 hours a week), or God-forbid - take their furlough in a full week block - they cry out - "This isn't fair!" Just think of all that so-called "comp" time that you enjoyed for the last ten years, then this shouldn't hurt so bad.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Has annyone computed the savings - Is it only 4 million?

    ReplyDelete
  42. The letters have already been written for the second, third and fourth quarter

    ReplyDelete
  43. 4:44

    What letters?

    ReplyDelete
  44. @ 4:28

    Salaried.

    32 hours.

    Nice try.

    Try 60+

    ReplyDelete
  45. This furlough program is a bridge to nowhere.

    ReplyDelete
  46. As a former Gannetteer, I feel for my friends and colleagues still at the television station I worked for. It doesn't matter if they are hourly or salaried. This is going to be a hardship for everyone. And, it's only a stopgap measure. I'll give you dollars to doughnuts that there will be more furloughs AND layoffs.

    And I bet Dubow and his cronies in McLean don't take pay cuts and don't stop flying around the country in the corporate jets.

    ReplyDelete
  47. At WSMV-4 in Nashville, the furloughs are the second most popular story at this moment. That says a lot for the way Gannett is regarded in Music City.

    The WSMV story emphasized the Tennessean yet mentioned Murfreesboro and Clarksville only in passing.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Beware making assumptions about salaried employees. I know of reporters who are making more than I am, even though I'm salary. Plus, I have to put in LOTS of OT that I never get paid for. And I rarely get time off in compensation. PLUS, I'm supporting my husband (who is laid-off) and my two kids. This "furlough" is devastating to us.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Does this furlough affect the sales reps? Kinda hard to make budgets if the folks who are responsible for the $$$$$$ aren't working so they can save on benefits.

    I was a salaried employee at my former Gannett work place. Believe me, I was still living paycheck to paycheck. Just like anonymous 8:02, don't think the salaried employees are living high on the hog. I too worked a lot of uncompensated OT, no way to take of comp time, and many times I didn't even get to take all of my vacation time because of work load.

    This furlough is bad no matter what. More layoffs are coming...just get ready for them.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hey 4:38: Don't assume your NJ counterparts mirror everyone else who is salaried in Gannettland. I know plenty of salaried folks who are making it paycheck to paycheck. I am salaried, and I'm also a single parent. This is going to hurt me too. Not that I think they shouldn't earn a fair salary, but Dubow, Dickey and co. should slash their own salaries to show they truly understand what's going on.

    *Is that laughter I hear out there?*

    ReplyDelete
  51. Rough day for journalists all over. In Phoenix, our biggest newspaper (the Republic) and English-language TV station (KPNX) are both Gannett owned. No one is happy with the news. I'm also hearing a rumor that most employees at the Republic were forced to tell their bosses by the end of the day today which days they would be taking off. I haven't been able to confirm it. Can anybody else?

    I also got leaked a memo from the publisher of the Republic, which I posted on my site, www.heatcity.org. It basically appears to be a long, corporate way of saying, "Things are going to be tough for a while. Hang in there."

    I'm trying to find Phoenix Gannetters to tell me how they're going to use the days (whether all at once or split up). Anonymity, just like here on Gannett Blog, will be granted.

    Good work, Jim, for digging this out.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I will sleep well tonight because I no longer work for GCI. My sympathy to all of you still there.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Sam Zell refused to accept that the internet had changed competition. Now readers can get more news faster and cheaper on the web - and Tribune Corporation has simply ignored the shift. Lowering paper cost will not save the Chicago Tribune and LA Times. It will take a new leader, and a new strategy. Likewise, making employees work for free is no solution for the market shifts making USAToday and Gannett less viable. Read more at http://www.ThePhoenixPrinciple.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Wilmington's EE really seems to believe that because everyone is losing a week's pay, from the top down, that everyone is sharing the pain. Not quite... Curtis Riddle taking a week without pay isn't going to hurt him nearly as much as my cubiclemate taking a week without pay - the one who's having to provide for a laid-off spouse and kids on a single salary. Riddle and Ledford will have to wait to pay the monthly bill on their Blackberries. The line workers will have to decide whether to pay the mortgage or let the kids eat.

    You can destroy the company, tear down our newspapers, but please don't insult our fucking intelligence.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Gannett has destroyed the newspaper industry in the last 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I worked for Gannett a long, long time. Glad I don't nowadays. I know what you hourly employees will do after your furlough, you will take your 5 little sick days whether your sick are not. Go for it!

    ReplyDelete
  57. "Q. Does this mean the company is in really bad shape?
    A. Not at all. This means we are taking action to avoid the plight of some other companies and industries. Gannett is a solid company and we want to stay that way. Instituting furloughs at this time is a sound financial move by a sound company that is facing severe economic conditions."

    OH!! SO YOU'RE NOT ACTUALLY DOING THIS CUZ U NEED TO, BUT BECAUSE IT MAKES SENSE.
    Hope my landlord understands.
    -kiss my a$$ gannett pigs-

    ReplyDelete
  58. Why aren't people quitting by the dozens? Why are we all just taking this? What ridiculous aspirations could anyone honestly have left to inspire them to continue working in newspapers?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Happy to say I won't be returning after my "vacation", having landed a teaching job at a small community college.

    I've been working at newspapers for 9 years, and I honestly, truly enjoy my job. But enough is enough. I'm tired of watching my friends laid off, being threatened with layoffs every two months and enduring all this stress just to save the corporation's profit margins so they can play peekaboo with the stockholders.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Congrats to anon @ 1:06! Glad to see another one making it out.

    And to anon @ 12:03: I know many people who are seeking to leave. It's just that, until they secure other employment, some of those "ridiculous aspirations" include paying the mortgage and putting food on the table? Pretty simple, really.

    ReplyDelete
  61. We're spared, we are told. For now. Will admit I was looking at the bright side: Time off to find a new job, freelance, clean out the home office, dust off that book idea.

    ReplyDelete
  62. 12:03 said "Why aren't people quitting by the dozens? Why are we all just taking this? What ridiculous aspirations could anyone honestly have left to inspire them to continue working in newspapers?"

    Ummmm, in what field would you suggest that someone look for work? Ad agencies, laying off. Magazines, laying off. Research, laying off. Tech writing, well, maybe if you are very specifically qualified (must have military experience and Arbortext background...).

    Other than working in North Dakota on a wind farm, what industry is hiring in this country?

    ReplyDelete
  63. @9:53 a.m.

    Health care.

    ReplyDelete
  64. why don't this ass hole(craig dumbo) step down. There are a lot of us that have lost our jobs here in asheville and others are to follow though out the gannett organization.The news paper industry is dying and there is no way to stop it. So for all the younger workers, get skilled in another industry before you get stuck. For the higher officers of Gannett, GO TO HELL!!

    ReplyDelete
  65. I've seen several comments that foster the inaccurate idea that all salaried employees are on some super high plateau of wealth. Circulation departments at every newspaper have district managers who are paid $26,000 to $30,000 per year. The reason the company keeps them salary is because if the hours were actually calculated the overtime would kill a budget.

    That said, I'd still rather take a week off without pay than find out my job was cut as happened at a Cox Newspaper in Georgia. They went from covering 159 counties to 27 counties in a matter of five years. That is a lot of positions cut.

    ReplyDelete
  66. For now we still have jobs. Its hard to stay positive. But atleast they are trying this furlogh thing first before they lay off. Who knows maybe it will save enough money so we can all still have jobs.

    ReplyDelete
  67. This is going to be tough. I work at Gannett, as does my wife. We are both WOEFULLY underpaid as per our responsibilities. I understand the newspaper industry is in the shitter, but why screw us? It'd be nice to see the executives take a bigger cut. Good luck everyone weathering this storm. Jim, thanks for the blog. Nice to get the employees' perspective anonymously.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Isn't this against the law?

    ReplyDelete
  69. Gannett, just another corporate giant. After everyone has sacrificed everything for this company, you will one day be kicked to the the curb. Yes, it will happen to you . I worked for the Asheville Citizen-Times for many years and worked every weekend , holiday and almost never missed a day of work. But in the end 60+ of my co-workers and I were given the boot. Just remember people, it's everyone for themselves. Company loyalty means nothing anymore. Do not be a fool and think that your sacrifice and all that you give up for "the good of the company" means anything. It doesn't.

    ReplyDelete

Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.