Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday | March 23 | Your News & Comments

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)

173 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jimbo,
    As a FORMER gannett ad exec. for 20+ years it's a great blog. i've donated, but we are a cheap bunch...us newspaper people. You have not only the critical mass in readers but also the news hook of newspapers, the economy, closings, etc.
    You have to charge while u have the chance. Yes, Gannett was greedy, but making money to keep a free press (BLOG) is not a sin. Making money is the only way to ensure a free press.
    Make it $9.95 per year or $5 per qtr. and shut off the flow on info. It's not that I want to screw readers, I want to keep this blog. Free speech is not fee...it costs money. Jim, you're going to have to go this route at some point, I'd say do it now.
    Really $9.95... everyone bitches about how cheap newspapers are (and they are)but they won't cough up $9.95 per year. If they won't, then what you are doing is of no value (which I would tell u it is).
    The other option is for Gannett to pay u a boatload just to shut it down. I know from inside of the 11th floor (is that where corp is now?), you're a royal pain in the ass. Yes, u r read.
    GREAT JOB!!!!
    How can anyone run a newspaper company and not understand the standard they'll be held to by they're own employees.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What's the news out of St. Cloud?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Jim:
    What do you think of Proposal 3 on the Proxy?
    HE BOARD RECOMMENDS A VOTE “AGAINST” PROPOSAL 3: SHAREHOLDER PROPOSAL relating to the use of tax gross-ups as an element of compensation for senior executives.

    FOR or AGAINST?

    Thanks in advance.
    The other two are "no-brainers", so to speak.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have no idea what's coming except for what's suggested here, but my gut tells me properties will be closing with the next round. So, this seems like a temporary stay of execution. If the cuts are even as deep as December, I am toast. Everything I do will be done by ContentWhatisIt or a newspaper far, far away.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The "boatload" will make you sink.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome! Big Bill Albrecht made the national blog. He is a great spokesperson for the gannett blog.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Maybe we could get gannett to pitch in some money from the HR department budget to keep this blog going. It is really the HR department right here.

    Bill Albrecht to the rescue? That is funny.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This blog is golden. I learned first of the layoffs last year here. Then I heard first of the furloughs in January here. Now I'm hearing the first on the furloughs and additional week of salary loss here. Any other company would tell its employees up front what the execs are doing, but corporate is so clueless it allows an outside blog to control its information. And this is a company that thrives on information. What does that tell you?

    ReplyDelete
  10. The President of the US only makes $400,000 a year. Dickbow's bonus is double that. WTF??? Something is seriously wrong here, and they want more money from the worker bees?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is today the day we get a big announcement from mother Gannett?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Why are you picking on Bill Albrecht? He's a good man caught in very difficult circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Based on what I've read in the past 48 hours, there would be no, single "big announcement.''

    Instead, individual publishers might send memos to staff, saying that X jobs have been eliminated trough layoffs and attrition. The figure would vary by property because it sounds like there might not be a uniform number across the company.

    Under this scenario, then, we would report a range of job cuts. For example:

    Gannett has targeted another layoff for the second quarter, with the size of job cuts ranging from X at The Daily Bugle in Wisconsin to Y at the Daily Breeze in Florida, according to publisher's memos emerging this week.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 7:17 am: I'll be voting in favor of Proposal 3, the measure that would eliminate tax-gross-ups. It is the closest thing to compensation reform on the ballot, so it deserves all the support it can get as a form of protest.

    ReplyDelete
  15. charge me, baby! I will go $5.99/yr., and I will prepay two years.
    this blog is great.
    I am all in. bill me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. From WFPL in Louisville:

    "Louisville Courier-Journal Publisher Arnold Garson says readership is up for his paper, but more budget cuts may be necessary.

    The growth in readership hasn’t translated to an increase in ad revenue. Many of the paper’s largest advertisers are businesses such as car dealerships that have suffered in the current economy.

    But with more people reading the paper, Garson says it’s important to make cuts that will do the least damage to the quality of the publication..."



    http://www.wfpl.org/CMS/?p=4057

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ditto other posts - I would certainly subscribe to this blog. Your services have been worth it Jim!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What's going on in Tucson, Jim?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Everyone --

    12:41 has it nailed.

    I'd do $10 year. Hell, I'd do $15.

    We spend that just to see a movie and munch some popcorn; why not give it to someone working his ass off reporting the definitive journalism story of our time?

    Jim's doing even more than that, in fact.
    He's chronicling a watershed moment in American life.
    He's doing it in excruciating detail.
    He's doing it weeks ahead of any other media reporter out there.
    And he's doing it despite being nowhere near a newsroom -- Christ, he broke one of the year's biggest media stories from a laptop in Ibiza.

    If you don't believe that deserves your support (and sends a wakeup call to McLean, Virginia and beyond), then I'm sorry but I think you give up the right to bitch about the insipid swill that fills Gannett's pages every day -- like this treat of a headline I saw last week:

    "All sorts of things happen at Festival of Ideas"

    The fact that I can share that nightmare of banality with you, and that you can probably top it in 5 minutes, and that everyone can see it -- along with the tenacious reporting Jim does virtually every day -- is a gift beyond price when it comes to publicly humiliating Gannett, and, one hopes, shaming it into finally installing a CEO and board of directors eager to do more than ensure Satan's wallet is full and his ashtray is empty.

    You're either on the bus, or you're off.

    Support Jim.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks, Jim, re: Prop 3.
    I will be voting WITHHELD on all directors, FOR the accounting firm, and FOR the shareholder's proposal (#3).

    I URGE EVERYONE READING THIS TO VOTE YOUR PROXY ASAP.

    If you are an employee, you probably received an online link to your proxy on 3/18/09 around 10:30 am, if that helps you locate it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. 9:05 AM
    How come he can't emerge from his office to personally say ANYTHING about any of the layoffs so far!?! We've all heard about them from a corporate e-mail. He's probably a great guy, but not so hot on keeping the staff in the loop. Seems a little cowardly to me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bill Albrecht has said in a meeting that he only reads the business section of the newspaper (when the Times still had one). What kind of publisher doesn't care about the rest of the product?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Just voted against all board nominees.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm curious. Has anyone who was laid off/fired/canned, actually gotten their healthcare benefits handled SEAMLESSLY?
    Also, if you were transferred over to Cobra, were you ever notified about your life insurance? Is it still going or were you ever given the option of taking it over on your own? In all my nightmares with health and prescription coverage, I actually didn't even think about my life insurance until this weekend. (I guess I want to be prepared in case I drop dead after my next doctor visit, when I'm told my last bill didn't "go through BCBS.")

    ReplyDelete
  25. Am I the only one who wasn't offended by the executive bonuses?

    Those figures don't bother me at all. In fact, they're probab;y too low. Any hot-shot CEO prospect wouldn't come here for $2 million a year.

    (One could make the argument that hot-shot CEOs would eschew us unilaterally, but that's not my point.)

    ReplyDelete
  26. 10:44 -- You're not the only one who isn't offended, but you're certainly in a minority.

    I would argue that a hotshot CEO does not devalue his company by nearly 80% in a single year. Unless by hotshot, you mean posturing showoff. And if that's what you mean, why would we want to pay anything.

    The point is these folks got bonuses, which should be awarded only for going above and beyond, for doing nothing more than cutting thier work force. Meanwhile, the work force that remains is paying more for insurance and taking massive paycuts. Not the sign of a healthy company. Not the sign of a hotshot CEO.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dubow didn't devalue his company. Give me a break. He didn't make the best decisions ever, but he's not the reason we're in this mess.

    Also: Furloughs announced throughout Newhouse today, Ann Arbor going to online-only in July.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What's the latest on the Tara/Kate show? Keep the lurid tidbits coming.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yes he is the reason we're in this mess. Name on decision he's made over the past 2 years that has brought revenue or profits to the company?

    ReplyDelete
  30. He should accept the blame. Instead he comes up with Content One - what a small isea that wont work.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Can I vote if I own one share of Gannett?

    If so, it's a small price to pay-- $2.20 -- to vote these suckers out.

    ReplyDelete
  32. 10:44 Those bonuses tell the story of exactly what GCI is. We all believe it is a newspaper and TV company that has certain community values. But that is not the way corporate looks at it. What they see is a money-making machine geared to produce revenues for themselves. As long as it is producing money, they get their share in the form of bonuses. The community values part is just pretend. They have ethics policies which executives violate, and journalism standards which are enforced largely to get rid of overpaid or exhausted employees. It this economy, the only value corporate cares about is running every property at profitable levels. That might mean draining money out of the properties as they are now doing, and degrading the properties so they maintain their highly profitable levels, eventually makes the properties valueless. You see that in declining circulation, declining impact, and declining advertising. There is value in quality, and quality is suffering for profits. They could have forgone their bonuses this year, but they didn't because they have a vested right. They could have have returned the money to the company to keep the community properties prosperous, but they did not because that is the way this company operates.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Although I think newspapers are shooting themselves in the foot by not charging for online content, I'm not sure Jim COULD charge with blogspot.

    Either way, I'll be sending in my $5 (or more) once I get my tax return.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I imagine readership of this blog will pick up in the coming weeks, as the bad news continues to roll in regarding the newspaper industry. That said, Jim is providing a tremendous FREE service to a great number of us. Please take a minute to appreciate him and the efforts he makes to keep us informed and send a few dollars his way. It took me about 30 seconds to donate thru PayPal.

    ReplyDelete
  35. things are going to look bleak today...

    ReplyDelete
  36. Just heard from my husband, who is an employee, that another round of layoffs will be announced today, which will take place at the end of the second quarter. No solid numbers yet, though.

    Happy Easter! Peace on earth!

    ReplyDelete
  37. to 10:58 & 11:04 are you kidding me! this board deserves nothing. how come they are in charge when the company goes down and they make the big plans. Their plans failed and yet they reward themselves. But we the minions who make none of the plans get punsished for their mistakes. please what are you their publists.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Notice those bonuses were in cash, not in stock. If they were in the form of stocks, corporate would have a real incentive to ensure this company would survive. But in cash, it's money in the pocket, and there's actually an incentive to ensure money is drained from the properties so cash bonuses can be given out next year.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Just in more Furloughs in Q2

    ReplyDelete
  40. JUST RECEIVED VIA EMAIL:



    Dear Co-workers:

    We are about to begin the second quarter without any real relief in sight from this unprecedented economic downturn and its challenge to our company. Despite all of your truly remarkable efforts to reverse the trend, our revenue numbers continue their downward slide and we have been faced with more difficult decisions.

    One of those choices was between more layoffs or another round of furloughs. We chose, for most employees, a furlough program consisting of at least one week of unpaid leave to be taken in April, May or June.

    The program will differ from the first quarter’s in a couple of important ways:

    The length of the furlough for employees will vary somewhat by division or location, depending on the division’s operating needs and results.


    Our higher salaried employees will be asked to make an additional sacrifice. This could be a second furlough week or a week’s furlough plus a temporary salary reduction equivalent to one week’s pay for the quarter, depending on the division and/or location.


    Some hourly employees will not be required to take a full week. Each division or location will have different requirements for employees in this category.
    Because of the variations, your division head will be the main source of information about your particular program. Memos will be going out shortly to each of you with specific details.

    Corporate employees will be participating, as with the first quarter’s program, including all of our company officers and me. Corporate’s memo will come from Gracia.

    There will be some exemptions, similar to the first quarter’s program. For instance, some locations that recently have had, or are in the midst of, layoffs or significant salary reductions will be exempt. Represented employees again will be asked to participate in lieu of layoffs.

    As with our first program, we are doing furloughs to hopefully mitigate the need for layoffs and to preserve our operations in the face of these extraordinary economic times. We believe this is the best possible course, given the alternatives.

    We also need to keep innovating, selling ads and reaching out to audiences to prepare for the return of the economy. When that happens, I believe we will be well prepared to move quickly and take advantage of the new opportunities.

    Again, I must thank you all for your hard work, loyalty and dedication. I am truly looking forward to the day I can send an email that congratulates you on getting us through these hard times. That day isn’t here yet, but I believe it will be. So we must continue to do whatever we can to keep Gannett strong and prepare for the future.

    Sincerely,

    Craig

    ReplyDelete
  41. More furloughs! Just announced

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anyone know when the group presidents meeting is next month? We are told that they will be deciding the size of the layoffs at that session, where they will have the Q1 results. Speculation is that it will be the week of April 5.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "We chose, for most employees, a furlough program..."

    One could read this to indicate that they've chosen layoffs for other employees.

    ReplyDelete
  45. It's furloughs, not layoffs. Alas, the grape vine...

    *pulls out the new gray hairs*

    ReplyDelete
  46. Another furlough just announced.... Glad I'm no longer there. Good luck and godspeed to each and all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  47. My question is: what does "higher salaried employees" mean? If it's people who make 50-75k, Dubow's going to be in a LOT of hot water.

    If they want it to be easier on us, they shouldn't REQUIRE it be seven consecutive days for salaried employees. But no, if you can take a few days at a time, then it's more like a vacation, and we can't have that.

    ReplyDelete
  48. i might be confused -- but aren't furloughs better than layoffs?

    i got laid off on december 2, 2008 and i'd still rather take a mandatory pay cut than be forced to leave my job.

    ReplyDelete
  49. "Corporate employees will be participating, as with the first quarter’s program, including all of our company officers and me."

    I love the false equivalence there.

    Here's what he really means:

    We, the executives, will go on vacation for a week to play golf and will still maintain our million dollar bonuses.

    You, the minions, will continue to get pay cuts, and some of you will be laid off to support our bonuses.

    ReplyDelete
  50. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Why do people need to post his e-mail repeatedly -- and over the course of 13 minutes?

    Oh, wait. That will never get answered, because people post on here without ever reading other comments.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Gannett has announced additional furlough days today...

    I cant help but think they are just postponing the inevitable...

    ReplyDelete
  53. its funny, he refers to his slaves
    as co-workers and signs the letter
    Sincerely, Craig.
    as if we're all friends

    ReplyDelete
  54. "NEW JERSEY ROCKS"
    BUT THE PAPERS SUCK

    ReplyDelete
  55. Anyone else wondering when these new furloughs will be planned because your boss is -- you guessed it -- on furlough?

    ReplyDelete
  56. The ULTIMATE irony/slap in the face:
    A guy who just made an $875,000 BONE-US telling us our salaries need to be cut back.

    ReplyDelete
  57. You coming out with anything about the just-announced second round of furloughs -- possibly up to 2 weeks for high-compensated....

    ReplyDelete
  58. I, and most of my hourly co-workers ("wage slaves"), chopped up our furlough days during the first quarter to make it easier on our bosses for scheduling purposes. That meant we couldn't apply for unemployment for those five days. Not again, sorry. I'm getting that $300. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, Craig.

    And yes, furloughs are far better than layoffs. But they still hurt, and you can't expect people not to moan as they try to figure out how to scrimp and save to make up the gap.

    ReplyDelete
  59. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Ouch! Sorry to hear about this everybody. I was hoping they would just eliminate the 401-k match to save some money without touching your pay. These (now becoming) quarterly weeks without pay have got to hurt and the net effect of lowering your wages actually end up hurting the local economies more, which in-turn, only hurt the newpapers more as the advertisers are forced to cut back.

    What a viscous circle!

    ReplyDelete
  61. To: USCP employees
    From: Bob Dickey
    Subject: Furloughs


    We continue to battle very difficult economic headwinds causing consumers and advertisers to remain cautious, resulting in further revenue declines. This will require our division to implement a second round of furloughs in the coming months. Furloughs again will be required for all US Community Publishing employees in the second quarter – April, May and June – but we will approach the program differently than in the first quarter.

    Your current pay level will determine the length of your furlough. USCP employees at the operating units earning $90,000 and above will furlough for two weeks during the quarter. USCP employees at corporate headquarters earning $90,000 and above will take one week of unpaid leave and also will have a temporary pay reduction of the equivalent of one week’s pay. That reduction will be spread equally over the three month period. All other USCP employees will be on the same program as last quarter and furlough for one week. Your level of pay is based on your salary or hourly wage. Commissions, bonuses and overtime earnings are not part of the calculation. Your supervisor will provide the specific details.

    Everyone’s participation in the furlough will enable us to minimize the need for additional layoffs during the quarter. The vast majority of our employees fall within the salary ranges that require a furlough of five days during the quarter. We are asking for a larger contribution from some of our employees. I believe these employees will embrace and support this change. We will once again ask employees covered by a bargaining agreement to participate in lieu of layoffs. We are hopeful union leadership will once again support this approach.

    In addition to the furloughs, we will institute a wage and salary freeze effective April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010.

    I know these measures are especially difficult as everyone juggles busy workloads and a more difficult economy, however they are critical to our company as we manage through this historic downturn.

    Even in the face of these immediate economic challenges, we are aggressively pursuing a variety of projects and programs that will improve efficiency and enhance our sales and marketing efforts in the long term. Our goal for when the economy improves is to strengthen our position as a news and information company that will enable us to invest in our local properties for sustained long-term growth. You will receive more details on these initiatives in the coming weeks.
    I understand the importance of strong local journalism and remain committed to that mission despite the pressure of the current economy. Again, I wish to thank all of you for your hard work and patience. We have managed the current furlough with minimal issues thanks to your commitment and professionalism. With that same spirit we will manage through the second quarter also.

    Please remain open minded to new approaches and share with me any ideas or thoughts you have on improving U.S. Community Publishing. I ask that you continue to keep faith in our industry and support your colleagues as we work through these economic challenges.

    Sincerely,


    Bob Dickey

    ReplyDelete
  62. Fact sheet
    Gannett furlough program
    Second quarter, 2009

    Q. Why has the company decided to do a second round of furloughs?
    A. Economic conditions have worsened and are expected to continue to be difficult. Furloughs allow us to preserve operations, be fair to as many employees as possible and still reduce expenses. Plus, furloughs are an alternative to layoffs and may help us reduce the need for layoffs down the line.

    Q. Aren’t there also pay reductions?
    A. Higher salaried employees in each division and corporate will take either an additional week of furlough or a temporary pay reduction equal to a week’s pay spread across the quarter. The number of employees impacted by this differs by division.

    Q. Is everyone going to participate?
    A. As with the first round, most employees in all divisions in the U.S. and the corporate staff will participate, depending on a variety of factors. Newsquest is doing a furlough program that is consistent with labor regulations in the UK.

    Q. Will there be any exceptions at all?
    A. Certain 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. Some high volume sales people with significant commissions as part of their compensation may be exempted

    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. How much money is the company saving by doing this?
    A. A final number is not available at this time. The first quarter furlough program saved approximately $20 million.

    Q. Does this mean there won’t be any layoffs this year?
    A. That decision entirely depends on what happens with revenues during the rest of the year. No final decision has been or will be made at this time. Again, furloughs hopefully will moderate the need for layoffs in the second quarter.

    Q. Does this mean the company is in really bad shape?
    A. Gannett continues to be 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. Furloughs are one of a number of steps the company is taking, such as reducing the dividend and consolidating operations, to maintain cash flow and stay strong.

    Q. I am required to take the unpaid leave. Why can't I take a pay cut instead?
    A. This is a furlough program. There will be temporary pay cuts for some employees. A permanent pay cut program is another way to cut costs, and may be considered at some future date. We don’t want to do different programs for different individuals.

    Q. Can I give up a week of vacation instead?
    A. No, because vacation days are paid 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. 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 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. 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 operating unit’s payroll week.

    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 do any kind of work 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. 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 401k 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.

    Q. I am also taking a temporary pay reduction. Am I required to take time off for this?
    A. No, you are not required to. Time off is a function of your work load and your department’s work load.



    Furloughs and temporary pay cut programs by division

    Across the company: Some locations and groups of employees are exempt, due to other cost cutting efforts. Represented employees will be asked to participate in lieu of layoffs.

    US Community Publishing

    Virtually all employees will take the equivalent of one week of unpaid leave. Hourly employees must take five days over the course of the three-month quarter, scheduled with the approval of their supervisor. Salaried employees must take one full week at one time. In addition, employees who earn over $90,000 will take a second week of unpaid leave.

    Broadcast

    All employees will take at least one week unpaid furlough. Hourly workers can take the five days at any pre-approved time over the three-month quarter. Salaried employees must take the furlough one week at one time. In addition to the furlough week, Broadcast’s management team and department heads at each location will take a temporary pay reduction equivalent to one week’s pay.

    Digital

    All employees will take at least one week unpaid furlough in the quarter. Hourly employees will take the equivalent of one week (five days) over the three-month period, scheduled with the approval of their supervisor. All others will take one week of unpaid furlough plus a temporary pay reduction equivalent to one week’s pay.

    USA TODAY/USA Weekend

    All salaried employees will take one week unpaid furlough. Top 15% of salaried employees will take two weeks of unpaid furlough. Hourly employees can take any five days over the three month period, scheduled with the approval of their supervisor.

    Corporate

    Hourly employees will take three unpaid leave days in the quarter, scheduled with the approval of their supervisor. All other employees will take one week of unpaid furlough. Additionally, vice presidents and above will take a temporary reduction of one week’s pay over the quarter.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Yes, we all heard about the new furlough and one-week pay reduction Sunday on this blog, so it is not news. But what about the layoffs portion? There is no mention in Craig's memo about the plans for layoffs to emerge from the meeting of the group presidents next month.

    ReplyDelete
  64. And he didn't even thank us for the bonus in the letter.

    How insensitive.

    Word Verification: spancu

    ReplyDelete
  65. so it is not news.

    There's a big difference between rumor and a formal confirmation.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Just in case you missed it...

    Gannett just announced another round of furloughs.

    ReplyDelete
  67. It's very sad. I know some reporters who have kids in college and they say this round of cutbacks could be the scale tipper for them in terms of leaving. But most of the writers I know are making 70K - 80K and those are hard jobs to replicate today.

    ReplyDelete
  68. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Lots of bonus money went out the door for these guys long after they knew the trouble the company was in. John Dean on Wall Street compensation: "Americans don’t understand rewarding people who did ‘a crappy job."

    ReplyDelete
  70. Gannett announces wage freeze, furloughs
    MARCH 23, 2009
    Gannett Co., publisher of the Des Moines Register, will freeze wages for one year and furlough nearly all employees for at least one week in the second quarter as a way to avoid more layoffs, the company announced today.

    Employees earning $90,000 and above must take two weeks without pay in the second quarter. Employees at Gannett’s corporate headquarters in Virginia will take one week of unpaid leave and also will have a temporary pay reduction of the equivalent of one week’s pay.

    About 1,000 full- and part-time employees at The Des Moines Register, the Iowa City Press-Citizen and the Register’s weekly papers are affected by the pay freeze.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I don't understand why all these furloughs and other measures are being taken NOW. Why weren't they deployed back in fall, before thousands of jobs were lost at Gannett properties? Can someone please explain that to me?

    So many people lost their jobs at Gannett in December. I just don't understand why Gannett went to the nuclear option first, and is now beginning to fight a ground war. Seems this company got it backwards, and by doing so, lost a ton of good folks back in December. Folks we could have really used right about now.

    Would love to see some discussion on this.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Is there any way legally that the executives can be forced to return their bonuses, given they are forcing furloughs?

    ReplyDelete
  73. Are there laws limiting the production of a worksite during a layoff or furlough? Are there laws preventing management from demanding the same level of production as under "ordinary" conditions?

    ReplyDelete
  74. Damn! This means that now, MY company will soon announce furloughs.

    My newspaper company has been following Gannett like clockwork with layoffs and furloughs. It's like they are saying: If it's OK for Gannett to do it..

    The only difference is that in our company, all advertising staff are exept - period.

    Sucks....

    Also, the very premise of the forloughs is wrong - the economy has NOT grow worse in the last month ... many indications show it is actually leveling or getting better.

    What garbage! I am so glad I'm not with Gannett...

    ReplyDelete
  75. So great Dubow is on first-name basis with us and we're "co-workers," right?

    From: A message from Craig Dubow
    Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 12:01 PM
    To: ENT-AllEmployees
    Subject: Furlough Program


    Dear Co-workers:
    We are about to begin the second quarter without any real relief in sight from this unprecedented economic downturn and its challenge to our company. Despite all of your truly remarkable efforts to reverse the trend, our revenue numbers continue their downward slide and we have been faced with more difficult decisions.
    One of those choices was between more layoffs or another round of furloughs. We chose, for most employees, a furlough program consisting of at least one week of unpaid leave to be taken in April, May or June.
    The program will differ from the first quarter’s in a couple of important ways:

    * The length of the furlough for employees will vary somewhat by division or location, depending on the division’s operating needs and results.


    * Our higher salaried employees will be asked to make an additional sacrifice. This could be a second furlough week or a week’s furlough plus a temporary salary reduction equivalent to one week’s pay for the quarter, depending on the division and/or location.


    * Some hourly employees will not be required to take a full week. Each division or location will have different requirements for employees in this category.
    Because of the variations, your division head will be the main source of information about your particular program. Memos will be going out shortly to each of you with specific details.
    Corporate employees will be participating, as with the first quarter’s program, including all of our company officers and me. Corporate’s memo will come from Gracia.
    There will be some exemptions, similar to the first quarter’s program. For instance, some locations that recently have had, or are in the midst of, layoffs or significant salary reductions will be exempt. Represented employees again will be asked to participate in lieu of layoffs.
    As with our first program, we are doing furloughs to hopefully mitigate the need for layoffs and to preserve our operations in the face of these extraordinary economic times. We believe this is the best possible course, given the alternatives.
    We also need to keep innovating, selling ads and reaching out to audiences to prepare for the return of the economy. When that happens, I believe we will be well prepared to move quickly and take advantage of the new opportunities.
    Again, I must thank you all for your hard work, loyalty and dedication. I am truly looking forward to the day I can send an email that congratulates you on getting us through these hard times. That day isn’t here yet, but I believe it will be. So we must continue to do whatever we can to keep Gannett strong and prepare for the future.
    Sincerely,
    Craig

    ReplyDelete
  76. Feds should DEMAND a clawback of the board's ill-gotten bonuses. The outrage in my unit towards this is off the charts, especially after today's announcement.
    It's worse than taking a private jet to DC to ask for bailout money.

    If you have not done it yet, today would be a great day to vote "WITHHELD" for all directors on your proxy.

    ReplyDelete
  77. When will all the employees see these demons who run this company as crooks and nothing more!

    ReplyDelete
  78. I think that they deserved their bonuses and are great leaders of the compnay and am ready to give anything to them meaning more furloughs pay reduction by 30% or even rat out my fellow employee or even my soul!

    ReplyDelete
  79. 1:09 p.m. - Who the heck do you know making that high of a salary as a reporter???

    ReplyDelete
  80. To 2:44 - 70K-80K is/was not unusual for senior writers at a certain metro paper east of the Mississippi River. The blog administrator might know where this is.

    ReplyDelete
  81. From reading all of today's memos (Dickey, DuBow) it sounds like they think that there will eventually be a recovery in the industry.

    It's unusual news when each week an ever-increasing number of newspapers announce plans to cut back print frequency or shut down altogether. I think the closure of so many newspapers in such a rapid sequence is very telling of the industry's fate.

    Furloughs are just temporary measures. What happens once they discover that the business isn't returning once the recession is over? The furloughs are just avoiding the inevitable and giving a lot of people too much false hope.

    ReplyDelete
  82. 2:44: That's the irony of it, isn't it? Anyone who wants to keep up with it can probably figure out exactly who in each department is over the magic $90k figure. While it may not be common at smaller papers, I can guarantee that there are those at mid-sized and metro papers who are in that dollar range. And after to carefully guarding salaries--even salary ranges--it will be apparent who is in what category.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I am so outraged by this, I am physically sick. They are walking off with hundreds of thousands of dollars in their pockets while asking us to take more and deeper salary cuts. What sort of management doctrine is this? Turn the screws even tighter on employees while we openly pocket the cash?

    ReplyDelete
  84. It is time, as employees of this company, to take a SOLID and united stand. In the end, we are the ones keeping this company afloat, not Dubow and Dickey. We need to protest at our loudest about these bonuses Dubow and others got. The company as a whole is still making money, yet they're making us take more unpaid leave. It's just not fair. Want me to work for less? OK, I'm going to work slower and more inefficient because, well, I'm not being rewarded for a company that should be jumping for joy that it's making ANY money at a time when others aren't. The "G" in Gannett surely stands for GREED! It's a sad, sad day!

    How about all of us (be it advertising, circulation or newsroom), at a given time sometime soon, walk out of our respective publications and demand Dubow and others give back their bonuses .... and step down.

    ReplyDelete
  85. They call me Mister Dubow. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  86. All Gannett had to do was withhold MBOs last month and that would have prevented furloughs.

    We keep hoping for sound financial management from people who don't seem to have a clue.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Everyone call in sick Wednesday .... in protest of the latest round of furloughs!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  88. It's time employees stand up and say "no" to this company. How about a massive sickout across all divisions?

    ReplyDelete
  89. I'm outraged, and am thinking hard about finding another job.

    What tempers me is the advice of a couple of people close to me that I would be the low person on the totem pole at a new job if THAT company decides to institute layoffs.

    This is very true. When I consider that, however, there is a counterargument: what if I'm laid off?

    I have no job, and my advantage re: the totem pole is gone.

    I'm also considering the industry as a whole, and what I am seeing doesn't look like an industry ready to bounce back when the economy "comes back". Regardless of whether Mr. Dubow and Co. really know what the hell they're doing (or not), or if these are signs of an industry in chaotic flux and decline, I'm not optimistic about Gannett nor the industry in general.

    With furloughs, wage freezes and whatever else Gannett believes it has to do, gallows humor will only go so far. I've enjoyed my time in this industry and appreciate my job, but I'm not willing to die for it and I'm not willing to live out my days in the poorhouse to stay in it.

    ReplyDelete
  90. 2:44, it is also very common at a large Southwest property.

    ReplyDelete
  91. My Zengerbossie's words: "Gannett's purchase of Army Times should be a good thing int he long term."

    Bwah-hahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Today, I can honestly say, although I am unemployed, I am glad I no longer work for Gannett.

    I loved my job and the people I worked with, but the managers stunk.

    My health has improved, I am stress free and I can breathe without a tightness in my chest daily.

    I wish my former co-workers well.

    And Jim, I will be willing to pay to use this site. It was a life saver for me when I lost my job.

    Thank you for doing what you do.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Unfortunately, I don't feel the same way as 3:37. I am unemployed, too. Laid off by Gannett in December for reasons that are beyond comprehension, but masked by the mass layoffs in my and other people's opinion. But that's besides the point. Regardless of how incredibly inept Gannett is, I would still rather have a job than not. I am depressed, stressed in a different way than when I worked for GCI for over a decade, and without much hope of finding viable employment at my age. I am a few months away from having to sell my home and accept minimum wage types of employment.

    What I just don't understand is why Gannett laid off so many employees in December before moving to other options that don't involve job loss. It was like they took advantage of the economy to dump people. I suspect other companies are doing that to. Not exactly the most ethical or even patriot act, particularly for a company where many of the newspapers still make a profit. But we've all learned that Corporate America is about as anti-American as one entity can be.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Mr.Dubow ,The only right thing for you to do is make the announcement that you are giving back your salary and bonus and show us you really care about employees and this company and are willing to stand with us at this tough time in Gannett history and we are going to get through this rough time knowing you support all of us. It will go a long way

    ReplyDelete
  95. Where's the Hoosier outrage if the company did in deed get training grant money and a tax abatement, all the while handing out performance bonuses to the big shots and cheating readers (tax payers) by furloughing employees? Readers have every right to complain since they have a stake here.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Make sure you know the unemployment rules in your state. Find out TODAY. I did not, and now will not be paid for my furlough through unemployment for 2nd quarter (1st should have been my waiting week, but now won't)

    ReplyDelete
  97. This is beyond contempt. It is sick, sick, sick. Corporate can't do this to people. They are just walking all over us, laughing while they take their money.

    ReplyDelete
  98. 3:57 It's OK because they are not permitting us to take it all in one week this time, but to take a day at a time and scheduling the furloughs so they can manage their personnel. Day at a time means we don't qualify for unemployment.

    ReplyDelete
  99. As far as Westchester ( Journal News) There is so much dead weight in management-Directors and VP'S that they would save a huge amount of money by releasing them and getting new blood in there. Any new people certainly couldn't do any worse than the crew there now. Circulation is in a free fall, and the product is awful.

    ReplyDelete
  100. At least Gannett employees are getting something for their paycuts. With two weeks of furloguhs, they've lost, what, 3.8 percent of their pay? I work at a paper where we just got a 5 percent paycut with no extra time off. So I guess my point is this: Quit your bitching.

    ReplyDelete
  101. yeah -- quit your complaining. i got laid off in december and had to take a 40% paycut just to keep afloat. at least you all still have jobs.

    ReplyDelete
  102. There it is! Like clockwork, the token management goon, 4:22, comes to the Gannett Blog to call the employees whiners!

    They just can't stand it!

    You get kudos for creativity, though, for posing as an employee from another paper. That's a good one.

    ReplyDelete
  103. A Gannett TV station's response to the furlough?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dib2-HBsF08

    ReplyDelete
  104. @ 4:28pm, just because someone calls you a whiner, it doesn't mean they're definitely management. maybe they're just calling it as they see it.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Can I have your job Craig? I will make better decisions than you and will only take a 1.00 salary.

    ReplyDelete
  106. 4:01

    Maybe I am misreading the emails, but I believe all salaried employees are required to take the furlough a week at a time as we're paid for a week's worth of work......

    ReplyDelete
  107. I certainly understand the frustration, but there's not much anybody can do about this on a large-group scale. Want to join the guild? Look what happened in Detroit. Want to organize a sick day? Be prepared to bring in a doctor's slip. Which can be done, of course, but you'll never convince more than 2 percent of the workers to participate because most of the people who are left are scared and defeated. Most everyone else has gone. About all you can do to register your disgust or protest is to quit and not be part of the organization. And in this economy, that's not too likely, either.

    Let's face it: They win. You get a pay cut (which is all a furlough is), a pay freeze, or perhaps you get laid off. They get a bonus whether the company tanks or not.

    Sorry, but that's the truth, which is what we media types are supposed to deliver.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Is whoever said this [making us take more unpaid leave. It's just not fair. Want me to work for less? OK, I'm going to work slower and more inefficient because, well, I'm not being rewarded] a 13-year-old girl?
    Life isn't fair.
    You're going to do a bad job because you're "not being rewarded" ? Hell, you have a job. You are getting a paycheck (minus one week's pay in the next three months.
    Good grief, people. Get a spine. Suck it up. Those of us who no longer have Gannett jobs to show up and work at don't have much sympathy.
    You are the lucky ones, in my view.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Wow, someone talks about organizing, and the Gannett corporate trolls come out in force.

    This is not smart PR, IMHO.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I think that Dubow and Martore should walk out and leave. It is amazing that these losers still have their jobs.

    Where is the video of Craig Dubow today facing everyone? Craig do you need a teleprompter like Obama!?!?

    Dubow is worthless and Martore is a witch (just look at the bitch!)

    I am fucking pissed at these moron's. Fuck you. I will be calling in sick randomly.

    I love it. You want to take two weeks of pay from me? Bullshit. I will find a way to get the best out of you! Just like you squeeze me, I will squeeze you harder!!!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Hey, 5:03, I'm not sure who you're referring to, but if it's me (4:46), I'd love to see Gannett workers organize. Will never happen, though.

    ReplyDelete
  112. I wish someone ruthless like T. Boone Pickens, Tom Perkins or Al Davis would swoop in, buy controlling stock of Gannett, and then clean out the board and fire anyone making over 100K at the Maclean HQ and then set up a structure that puts employees in charge. Anyone getting canned would not receive a nickel in bonus, severance, golden parachutes, stock options or whatever, with the legal rationale being that they have defrauded the company and therefore the public because it is a publicly-owned company. That said, you might even be able to bring them up on charges. Go ahead---let the dearly departed try to sue. As they say in the movies, "Good luck."

    ReplyDelete
  113. Blue flu Wednesday!

    Let's not take this lying down.

    ReplyDelete
  114. As for part-timer workers, this 2nd furlough week reduces the number of total hours worked to under the minimum required to take advantage of the very limited benefits available ~ ie: no paid vacation or 401(k) match next year, therefore saving even more $$ and alienating even more of the worker bees.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Anyone else note that Dubow's memo on the furloughs excludes bonuses:
    "Commissions, bonuses and overtime earnings are not part of the calculation. Your supervisor will provide the specific details." So the execs will not see any of their new bonus money clawed back.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Nice. Build in an exemption for the bonus you didn't deserve in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  117. A collective sickout action would allow ourselves to be easily targeted for reprisal. Best to act individually:
    1. Take all five sick days that you're entitled to in 2009.
    2. Pad expense accounts by discreet amounts.
    3. Stab bad bosses in back without being noticed.
    4. Take frequent and long outings to act as MOJOs, talk to "real people" and gather material for blogs and tweets.
    5. Solicit and accept speaking engagements and roundtable discussions at local bars as part of Gannett's new "brand-promotion" strategery.

    ReplyDelete
  118. A dumb question, but here goes: Gannett is still making a profit, right? These cuts aren't to keep the company afloat, they're to add to the profit margin...is that right?

    ReplyDelete
  119. I have a prediction. Most of you are about to get the best job reviews you've ever gotten in your life. Why? Because it doesn't matter how good they are, you're still not getting a pay raise.

    But...if by some miracle things turn around, and they allow pay raises next year, the high performance grade you got this year is going to be downgraded, resulting in little or no raise.

    ReplyDelete
  120. 5:55, I don't have a problem with the rest of your list, but advising people to steal is stupid. Makes me think you've already been at it, buddy.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Remember.
    Wage and hour. Wage and hour. Wage and hour.

    ReplyDelete
  122. I, too, am very tired of the complaints. I have been out of work for seven months, and aside from some freelance work here and there, the pickings are slim to none. I have applied for all kinds of jobs, some at one-third of what I was making and employers don't even have the courtesy to respond.
    As for high salaries at the AZ Republic, there are senior reporters making even in the low $90Ks. But you must remember how big the paper is and we are talking about 30-year veterans who have more than earned their stripes. (Of course some who only produce one story a year...well, that's another story)

    ReplyDelete
  123. 5:59 - Precisely. The company's operating profitability is quite envious compared to most industries. The papers that are failing are the ones that were bought with excessive debt. Gannett's debt, while high, is manageable -- for now. But Gannett would rather have you believe that it is on the same ropes as McClatchy, Tribune and the other chains. In truth, the company simply wants to preserve its scandalously high profit margins as best it can because all it cares about is pleasing Wall STreet with its stock price.

    ReplyDelete
  124. 6:09. Gannett steals money from workers every time it pays us 30 cents a mile for the use of our car. Gannett steals from us every time it issues an artificially negative performance evaluation that denies us raises, or at least praise, that we deserve. Gannett steals from us by putting us on furlough and cutting our pay when execs give themselves fat bonuses and stupid president's rings, which I assume have some real gold in them.

    ReplyDelete
  125. This company is doing a outstanding Job. Keeping 38,000 plus people employed and not laying off masive amounts of people. I don't care about the bonus corporate got good for them. I have a job its a job I have made great money for 15 years way into the $80k plus range. If I lose my job I will get another one. I'm a diehard I will go down with the ship

    ReplyDelete
  126. 6:39
    Do you really believe that? Oh my goodness, we have a right to work and a right to a decent wage. If their earnings are down, then their profits are less. The corporations can earn less money and not throw it on the poor employees again.

    ReplyDelete
  127. I agree with 3:57...Make sure you know the unemployment rules in your state. FIND OUT TODAY! I did the 1st time, and now will be paid for my 2nd qrt furlough. It doesn't matter if it's $100 or $300...it's gas & groceries. Some of my friends didn't and they are kicking themselves big time now as they were led to believe it wouldn't happen again. You are the only one who can look out for yourself when it comes to being responsible. If you don't want to file for unemployment, that's your choice. But if you think you are doing the company a favor by not filing, wake up and face reality as they won't think twice about another furlough or laying you off altogether just like they didn't think twice about taking/giving bonuses.

    ReplyDelete
  128. If the company is doing a great job, then why don't they share the profits with everybody on a percentage basis instead of less than 5% of the employees?? Several companies do that and they have very loyal employees...everybody or nobody. Just like AIG, I don't understand rewarding somebody when the numbers don't support it.

    ReplyDelete
  129. When I read this I just had to laugh....

    "We also need to keep innovating, selling ads and reaching out to audiences to prepare for the return of the economy. When that happens, I believe we will be well prepared to move quickly and take advantage of the new opportunities." Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow

    quote 2

    "Our revenue numbers continue their downward slide and we have been faced with more difficult decisions,'' Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow

    As I sit home looking for a new job because our VP of Marketing and Advertising wanted his and hers year end bonus. Here's something to think about...Maybe you shouldn't of laid off all of your ad revenue generating artists. Smart.... for what to send your ads to 2adpro aka...India
    Obviously that cost cutting idea is working out well.....

    ReplyDelete
  130. Has anyone heard about an email that was sent to everyone at KSDK? I don't have any details, but I heard corp folks were in a tizzy....

    ReplyDelete
  131. So much for pay confidentiality! When people see the person next to them forced to take off 2 weeks instead of 1 that will create even more unrest, even if they deserve that higher pay. Where was Tara when this PR faux paux was allowed to go out? Strategizing against Kate instead of doing her job?!?

    ReplyDelete
  132. Re: " Anonymous said...I have a prediction. Most of you are about to get the best job reviews you've ever gotten in your life "

    Reality is people are being downgraded a notch to support no raises. Corporate finds it hard to justify no raises for highly rated employees. So. many of us are being disrespected another way.

    ReplyDelete
  133. This is what's wrong with our country. Greed has been allowed to grow unimpeded. As everyone knows, power corrupts. And those in power in our country have allowed this greed to cause problems. There needs to be STRICT rules on the books to prevent this kind of thing! Executive pay for large corporations MUST be tied to performance, INCLUDING bonuses! Not small companies...What's unAmerican or unconstitutional about that? This has gone on for too long. We need to take DECISIVE action NOW! If the government doesn't take action on this, it could be getting close to pitchfork and torch time in the streets. The level of frustation among the general public is growing. I see and hear it more every day. Look at AIG! I fear something could be on the horizion if nothing changes.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Sorry to see so many upset people who have jobs. I was laid off in December and can not find a job, barley even getting interviews. So if any of you want to quit working for the company you hate so much please quit so those of us who appreciate a job can take yoour place.
    I would be pissed about all the bonuses paid out to these clowns as well, but would take a 2 weeks furlough over being laid off anytime.
    So seriously, if you hate it so much.....quit.

    ReplyDelete
  135. To 7:29. You missed my point. Now that they have enacted a freeze on pay raises, there's no incentive for them to give you a bad review to justify a lousy raise. Because you're not going to get a raise anyway, no matter how good or bad your review is. So it's not going to cost them anything this year to finally give you a glowing review.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Someone asked on the salaried furlough thread about VA unemployment - there is a 1 week waiting period. http://www.vec.virginia.gov/vecportal/faq.cfm?getfaq=GUI#127

    Corp / Staunton folks may be able to try the part time angle. I haven't called to ask, mainly b/c I'm too worried about layoffs and would rather have that extra week if I'm not getting a check at all.

    ReplyDelete
  137. BEEN THERE, DONE THAT3/23/2009 7:58 PM

    To: 10:32 AM

    SEEMLESSLY! You are joking, right? It was a total nightmare of getting the right COBRA information and contacting YBR countless times (with very poor results) and finally finding someone in McLean, Virginia to give me the common decency of some help! Numerous phone calls were never returned. It was the better part of a week begging for help. It is settled-- at least, I think it is. I have to verify that everything went through for the actual date regular coverage expires.

    Part of this nonsense would be prevented if Gannett allowed you to apply for COBRA before your health insurance runs out. They refuse with the excuse that they will retroactively (45 days) pay costs. It's almost the final screwing--almost! READ ON....
    LIFE INSURANCE-- you know, I've
    been too busy with everything else to realize that this was never was mentioned!

    ReplyDelete
  138. If the writers where I worked before getting laid off were making $70,000 and $80,000 a year, I'm going to go out and get drunk. And I haven't been drunk since 2001. If they were making $90,000 and have to take a two-week furlough, I'm going to get drunk and come back and write another post here.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Everyone should take every sick day they are entitled to get. Don't let these bastards get anymore up on us. Also, don't do them any favors by agreeing to take your furlough days spread out for their convenience Take them to benefit you and to screw them over. Why should we be the good guys and worry about our bosses or this crappy company!!!

    ReplyDelete
  140. I can think of at least three reporters at my site who are likely making $70,000-$80,000-plus. It'll be very interesting to see if they're above the $90K threshold.

    They're the golden children, who write perhaps a story a month, if that. They do the giant narrative and investigative projects and kiss ass as the local USA Today "correspondents." They can't stand being so close to us peons.

    ReplyDelete
  141. So is it true that the second furlough will be it for the year? I read they can't ask for more, because exempt employees for some reason would be eligible for overtime.
    Two I maybe could handle. Any more than that, then I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Given the current economic climate, coupled with the seasonality of our market, Grandeur Magazine will not publish in June, August and October of this year. We will resume publication with the November 7 issue that deadlines on September 25.


    Beginning with that November issue we will return to publishing Grandeur six-times per year during our peak season of November – April.



    Grandeur debuted in 2003 publishing two-times per year (February and October). It was so popular we published four issues in 2004, six issues in 2005, seven in 2006 and landed at the current 10 issues in 2007. In February 2009 the magazine became perfect-bound, something our advertisers and readers love.



    As you all know, a lot has changed since 2007, but this was still not an easy decision. But when we looked out to the off-season months we made the decision that we would rather go back to a 6-time publishing cycle rather than compromise the quality our loyal readers and advertisers have grown to appreciate.



    We will honor the current 10 time contract advertiser rate for the six publications.



    We will also continue to update our new grandeurmagazine.com site throughout the summer. The website has been met with great success, generating over 127,000 page views since the debut on March 5. The website is an opportunity for you to convert your current Grandeur ad dollars into a digital solution.

    Barry G. Barlow
    VP/Advertising
    The News-Press

    ReplyDelete
  143. And remember everyone. This company still makes a profit in EVERY QUARTER!

    ReplyDelete
  144. Well, now we all get to see who makes more than $90,000 a year.

    ReplyDelete
  145. there is a 1 wk waiting period when you file. but in my state you will be paid for that week too when you file for the 2nd furlough wk. 7:48 if you are holding out for unemployment benefits in case you get laid off, what happens if you don't get laid off? you just gave up some $ that was rightfully yours. take it and put it in savings in case you do get laid off later on. now or later it is the same $ as there's a limit to the number of weeks you can claim during a year. the economy can't totally recover by july. think they won't try to save 20+ million again with 3rd quarter furloughs?

    ReplyDelete
  146. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  147. To My Boss said, a personal thank you as you were on the mark technically...furloughs, wage reduction and layoffs..most info on here is speculation at best but somehow the truth ends up here and so far we've all been able to be semi warned at least. Jim a thanks to you also for keeping this going for so many who like me do want this company to suceed but as time goes on it seems unlikely. For those who don't have your pension numbers - get them. I called Corporate HR for a copy of mine (Can't find the originals) and was told "Oh we're not doing that, we mailed them once, you can try your local HR" -still waiting & don't trust that my pension will be around so make sure you know what is yours!

    ReplyDelete
  148. 9:00 PM

    ONE GETS THE DISTINCT IMPRESSION THAT YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT WORKING IN THE NJ GROUP IS LIKE!! If you are not from NJ, welcome to Gannett "reality".

    ReplyDelete
  149. Time for some good old-fashion BLUE FLU!

    Stay home on Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Bill Albrecht and Graig Dubow two brothers from another mother.

    ReplyDelete
  151. I want this company to succeed, but I also want corporate and the board of directors to make responsible decisions that are good for everybody in the company. Giving out bonuses of 3 mil to be split among 5 people, plus the bonus $ upper management at each site was given in Feb. while people were already taking furloughs, then announcing furloughs again, shows they are clueless what is good for the company. I will continue to do my best but I will not kill myself trying to do the work of several people when they are on furlough.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Just purchased one single share of Gannett. So I can continue to vote for the upcoming year. To fire everyone that Micro manages.

    ReplyDelete
  153. 8:44: Not everyone who makes over $90K is a fat cat. Some of us live in very high rent areas where prevailing wages are far above average. I work in Westchester and am not wealthy by any means though my pay is a squeak above $90K. That said: I do not want it broadcast through the newsroom and am hoping there will be some discretion. Any managers know how this will be handled? Will everyone know everyone who is making above that wage level?

    ReplyDelete
  154. you tell them 8:32 and then you can throw a tantrum and take your ball home. Grow up you boob.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Does anyone know about the unemployment rules in Arizona? Can we get it for the week-long furlough? Has there been any negative impact on the people that did file for unemployment during furloughs?

    ReplyDelete
  156. The people who post here advocating mass sickouts remind me of the people who tried to organize "let's-all-wear-black" days in high school. Give it a rest, please.

    For myself, I don't have enough sick days that I can just casually drop one for some juvenile protest. I need every one of those for when my daughter gets sick at school and I have to go pick her up, or heaven forfend, if I get sick myself.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Surprised no one has homed in on this part yet:

    Q. I am required to take the unpaid leave. Why can't I take a pay cut instead?
    A. This is a furlough program. There will be temporary pay cuts for some employees. A permanent pay cut program is another way to cut costs, and may be considered at some future date. We don’t want to do different programs for different individuals.

    ReplyDelete
  158. The only plausible reason I can think of why employees like Dubow, Matore, Dickey et al are also going on furlough is that the best chance for this company’s survival apparently lies in keeping tools like them at home more and out of control.

    ReplyDelete
  159. My thanks to "My Boss said"! Your comments were on target and really helped many blog readers not be caught unaware today. I wonder if you are actually the "My Boss". Whatever your position, please know how much I appreciate the heads up for all the news today.

    ReplyDelete
  160. 9:00....you need therapy, there are meds which can help you.

    10:23....I opened a call today with azcallcenter, they are the first line of unemployment. My neighbor works for them and said they have been hit hard by state layoffs so don't expect an answer for a few days.

    ReplyDelete
  161. 10:23 I would hope to goodness there is no negative impact on people who file for unemployment when the law states it is your right to do so. If there is, then the site needs to be turned into the state for doing so.

    ReplyDelete
  162. I've talked to several exempt people and they didn't file for unemployment because they didn't think it would happen again. now they are mad at themselves for not filing.

    ReplyDelete
  163. I'm not with Gannett, so how will co-workers know if you are on vacation or furlough?

    ReplyDelete
  164. Damn I'm glad I quit last year. Thank you JESUS. I've been saying for years this was going to happen - the handwriting has been on the wall. Remember something people, corporate is NOT going to tell you to file for unemployment for those furlough days -- and you're entitled to it in most states -- just like they're NOT going to tell you that if you take money from your 401K you will pay a penalty - maybe not now but later. Why take the money out now? Hang on - you'll probably need it once the company goes under. It's not the economy, dear friends, it's not. There is no "coming back" from this. People aren't reading newspapers and advertisers KNOW THIS. They're not going to throw money down a black hole. Would you? When you can read the news -- in real time -- on your cell phone, why on Earth would you buy a dirty, ink-stained paper to get day old news??
    Wake up people! Newspapers need to organize and get on the same page - start charging for what's online and stop giving the damn milk away for free. The industry is in trouble and you guys aren't being proactive.
    To the people who took those buyouts earlier this year and last - BE GLAD you got your pension and what's left of your 401K out BEFORE Gannett declares Chapter 7. You don't need a crystal ball to see that's what's coming next. Remember, Knight Ridder is no more. McClatchy is on the ropes, so is the NY Times and nearly every other newspaper company.
    Good luck to all of you - and its a shame to see newspapers die like this - slow and painful, rotting from the inside out.

    ReplyDelete
  165. So can someone clarify the Virginia law for unemployment? I need to apply a week before my furlough to get benefits?

    ReplyDelete
  166. Get used to the furloughs people......they will continue all year and you may even get whipped harder, you pyramid building slaves, the pharoahs deserve the fruits of your labors more than you! Haha, unions are asked and are not mandatory so what does that say to you? Shame on you for being so individualized and not collective bargained where you have an able chance against the company to get whats fair instead of being "raped" over and over and over.........and over again!

    ReplyDelete
  167. Furloughs not happen again? Look at the economy, and think again. This economic collapse hasn't yet stopped, as we will see when GCI reports its Q1 results. So I am expecting there will be furloughs and week-paybacks in all quarters of this year.

    ReplyDelete
  168. 10:09 It's usually public knowledge when someone is out on furlough. Everyone is told NOT to contact them while they are away. There may be some higher wage earners that may fake it and say they are on vacation, but that could backfire is somebody tries to call or e-mail them. And on vacations, I haven't used one day yet because of the first furlough. Now the second one is coming and a lot of the unused vacation time is going to start backing up during the 2nd half of the year. Newsrooms are going to be empty or management is going to start denying vacation to people.

    ReplyDelete
  169. @10:23 - AZ Unemployment Benefits
    You have to file your first week of furlough. That first week is your waiting week and you will get no unemployment for this week. You will have to continue to file unemployment EVEN IF YOU WORK every Sunday or Monday (otherwise you have to start over), stating as such (that you are working) until you have another furlough week at which at that time you can claim your weekly benefit. If you are an average joe, you can expect about $230 a week or less.

    How do I know? My husband works for a company here that has him (and many other people) on furlough for FIVE weeks every quarter. SO see? It could be worse.

    I am SO glad I left the Republic over 4 years ago. Sucked then, sucks even MORE now.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Cough, cough. Think I feel something coming on. I might make it through tomorrow, but on Wednesday, who knows?

    ReplyDelete
  171. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  172. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  173. Furloughs are better than layoffs anyway you slice it, and if you dont agree try calling one of your former coworkers who got kicked to the curb in December, has sent out upwards of 50 resumes and rarely - if ever - gets so much as an email confirming receipt. No one wants to lose pay but c'mon people. There are layoffs in every sector, even healthcare, so at least be relieved that we are still employed, if only til July. I am.

    PS. Our publisher told us we could file for unemployment.

    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.