Kupinski: "Of the roughly $7 million in severance expenses, I would imagine that most of that was at USA Today, right?"
Martore: "Certainly, the lion's share of that would be associated with some of the work that is being done at USA Today."
Kupinski: "Are you contemplating any other significant severance costs in the fourth quarter?"
Martore: "Not at the present time."
Not at the present time. That's a good illustration of the wiggle room all companies leave when asked about future plans. For example, when layoffs are under consideration, but not yet finalized, it's best not to completely close off the possibility, or Wall Street will question your truthfulness during the next go-around.
(Note: I'm certain Kupinski was asking about severance costs across GCI during the fourth quarter, not just at USAT.)
To put the third quarter's $7 million into context, here's how much GCI spent on severance annually in each of the following years, regulatory documents show:
- 2007: $29 million
- 2008: $119 million
- 2009: $65 million
Related: GCI's total employment, year by year
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.