Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Memo: Dickey rules out second-quarter furloughs; he also says no broad newspaper layoffs planned

Anonymous@2:12 p.m. has just posted what they present as a memo sent to employees today by U.S. newspaper division President Bob Dickey. In it, Dickey says the division "will not have any furloughs this year in the second quarter,'' and says further that no "division-wide layoffs are planned." Here's the full text:


March 16, 2010

To: All U.S. Community Publishing employees

From: Bob Dickey

I am pleased to share some very good news with you today.

Thanks to your ongoing efforts to manage our business well and focus on executing against our key priorities, we are heading into the second quarter with good momentum. Because of this, I am happy to let you know that U.S. Community Publishing will not have any furloughs this year in the second quarter. Additionally, we do not have any division-wide lay-offs planned. I know this has been a question on many people’s minds, so I hope this eases those concerns. As announced earlier, we will continue to roll out the two Gannett Production Centers throughout 2010 with a planned finish date of early 2011.

As I noted in an email to all USCP employees a few weeks ago, our division’s performance is improving and we are on track for the first quarter. We are experiencing ongoing favorable trends in many key areas of our business including: retail, employment and automotive advertising; profitability of our non-daily products continues to improve; and Sunday home delivery volumes are growing which is one of our key goals for the year. Our Audience Aggregation strategy continues to be a success with digital audiences growing and online revenues will post year-over-year gains in the first quarter. Most importantly, we continue to publish outstanding journalism across U.S. Community Publishing.

Looking forward, we need to keep in mind that the economy continues to be fragile so it is essential that we remain vigilant in our efforts to manage costs and continue to create greater efficiencies in all that we do.

I know that many of the steps we continue to take to improve our business and achieve operational efficiencies have not been easy, but they are necessary to remain a strong and stable company. I sincerely thank you for all you do to serve our readers and customers.

As always, please feel free to email me with any questions or ideas about our business. My email address is rdickey@gannett.com.



This memo appears to be slightly at odds with a report on Gannettoid, which says certain higher-paid division employees will, indeed, be furloughed. Can anyone explain the difference? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. Jim, I just discovered you are back up and running. Hurrah.

  2. The reason the top people are furloughed is because they choose to be furloughed. They want the extra holiday and because they are paid $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ they can afford it.

  3. This is good news. Boy, now I can't wait for my 1% raise in 2011.

  4. It now appears that no one -- including higher-paid employees -- will be furloughed in the second quarter.

  5. I don't know if she was just going by the gannettoid report or something else, but my superior told me yesterday I would be furloughed one week in the second quarter, then later told me change of plans and congratulated me. I said I'd rather have the week away.

  6. This only clears the way for the top to get raises & bigger bonus.

  7. 9:21 am: Like you, I wondered whether the timing of this might cushion the blow of any bonuses announced this week.

  8. I have to agree with Jim. Is this news just something to buffer the blow of a bonus announcement. Our operation hasn't just cut to the bone, it's cut into the bone. Routine maintenance items, travel, training and personnel all gone, but those profits still rolling in while workers just get more depressed daily because they are asked to do more and more and more.

  9. If it was meant to buffer the news, I don't think it will work. Most of the people I talked to at my property are actually disappointed that there will be no furloughs. The working environment has become so toxic that anything that gets you out for a week, pay or no, is looked at as good.


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