Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Urgent: I hear furloughs have been announced

That's all I know. Posting from my iPhone. Updates as I learn more.

72 comments:

  1. Here's the copy from the Dickey memo:


    CONFIDENTIAL
    CONTAINS PROPRIETARY BUSINESS INFORMATION - NOT FOR PUBLIC DISSEMINATION


    January 4, 2011
    To: All US Community Publishing employees
    From: Bob Dickey

    Last year was an important year for our division both strategically and operationally. We made many significant changes that are bearing results today and will help strengthen our business going forward.

    As we start the new year, we continue to see some improvement in revenue trends and reduced year-over-year revenue declines in US Community Publishing. This is no small accomplishment and I think you should take great pride in what you have achieved. Our top line revenues, however, while improving, remain short of where they were a year ago. This is compounded by a still challenging and uncertain economy, as well as increasing expenses. To help us manage through these challenges, we have made the difficult decision to implement a furlough across USCP during the first quarter. This was, quite frankly, an option I had hoped we could avoid. Furloughs, while difficult, do allow us to protect jobs. The staff reductions we have taken over the past few years have been very hard and further reductions are not our first preference.

    During the first quarter, non-union USCP employees will be furloughed for five business days. Exempt, salaried employees must take one full payroll week within the pay period, to be completed by Sunday, March 27. Outside sales people will take five days that can be completed at any pre-approved time before the last weekend in March. Non-exempt, hourly employees will also take five days at any pre-approved time, before the last weekend in March. If you are not sure which category you are in, you should check with your Human Resources representative or supervisor. The attached FAQ should answer other questions you may have. We will be communicating separately with union representatives to discuss the treatment of bargaining unit employees. I will be taking a furlough during the quarter and Craig Dubow and Gracia Martore each will be taking a reduction of salary that is equivalent to a week’s furlough.

    We have accomplished a lot over the last year and I am very proud of the outstanding journalism, products and services you deliver to our communities and customers every day. I know furloughs are very hard on you and your families and I thank each of you for the continued commitment and great work.

    As always, please feel free to email me directly at rdickey@gannett.com with any questions or ideas you have about our business.

    Regards,

    Bob

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  2. Here's part one of the FAQ piece:

    FAQ
    Gannett USCP furlough program
    First quarter, 2011

    1) Q. Why is USCP doing furloughs again when our division and the economy are doing better?
    A. USCP continued to see improvement in revenue trends throughout 2010 and reduced year-over-year revenue declines. We are still facing some challenges though in growing our top line revenue and managing through continued weak spots in the economy and higher expenses. While taking a furlough was not a desirable course of action, we think it is needed at this time to help manage through these challenges.
    2) Q. Will there be any exceptions?
    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.
    3) Q. This is a financial hardship for me. Can I have an exception?
    A. Unfortunately, we cannot make individual exceptions. We recognize that furloughs create hardships and have tried to minimize this by giving hourly employees the flexibility to spread these days over the full quarter. We encourage all employees to make use of resources such as the Employee Assistance Program which can help you and your family manage through this difficult time.
    4) Q. Will there be layoffs this year?
    A. We want to avoid future layoffs and hope that we can do so by taking steps now to control expenses and focus on top line growth
    5) Q. Will there be another furlough in Q2?
    A. Our hope is that future furloughs will not be necessary but business conditions
    combined with economic trends will be the major factors as we continue to assess
    this market. No decision on this can be made at this time.
    6) Q. Can I give up a week of vacation instead?
    A. No, because vacation days are paid there is no savings to the company.
    7) Q. Why are the rules different for non-exempt and exempt employees?
    A. Non-exempt and exempt employees are subject to different rules set by the U.S. Department of Labor. Basically, exempt employees are paid for a week’s worth of work, not in smaller increments.
    8) 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.
    9) 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.

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  3. Here's part two:


    10) Q. Does the furlough include part-time workers?
    A. Yes. The furlough should be based on their scheduled or variable time and should be based on a normal work week.
    11) Q. Can I use part-time people to fill in for furloughed workers?
    A. Not if it expands their hours and costs more.
    12) 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. A furlough for an exempt employee may vary from site to site but it will always be seven consecutive days and therefore will always include either two weekend days or two of the employee’s regular days off.
    13) 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, and determine a mutually agreeable date and what you need to do to prepare for your being out.
    14) 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.
    15) 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.
    16) 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. Health and life insurance deductions will continue to be based on your rate of pay, not on your reduced pay as a result of the furlough. That means that the amount of your life insurance coverage (equal to one times your annual rate of pay) will not go down as a result of your unpaid furlough time. Similarly, your payroll deduction for medical insurance, which is based on your rate of pay and the salary bracket that you fall into, will remain unchanged since your rate of pay also remains unchanged. 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.
    17) 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.
    18) 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 benefits.gannett.com or you can call the Gannett Benefits Center at 877.865.8980.

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  4. so for all the "naysay-ers", i guess "My Boss" is right again...

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  5. "So back-up personnel are available"? Sorry, but all the layoffs have made certain that there are never backups available.

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  6. As always...thanks to My Boss. Your information is appreciated and respected my the vast majority of Gannett employees.

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  7. You can remove this post Jim but I must say that My Boss has been pretty silent since he was identified as a Digital employee. He knows folks are watching

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  8. Here's part two of FAQs:



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

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

    12) 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. A furlough for an exempt employee may vary from site to site but it will always be seven consecutive days and therefore will always include either two weekend days or two of the employee’s regular days off.

    13) 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, and determine a mutually agreeable date and what you need to do to prepare for your being out.

    14) 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.

    15) 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.

    16) 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. Health and life insurance deductions will continue to be based on your rate of pay, not on your reduced pay as a result of the furlough. That means that the amount of your life insurance coverage (equal to one times your annual rate of pay) will not go down as a result of your unpaid furlough time. Similarly, your payroll deduction for medical insurance, which is based on your rate of pay and the salary bracket that you fall into, will remain unchanged since your rate of pay also remains unchanged. 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.

    17) 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.

    18) 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 benefits.gannett.com or you can call the Gannett Benefits Center at 877.865.8980.

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  9. So so disheartening. Truly. It's like watching your alcoholic uncle lurch from one bad situation to the next and knowing that everyone else has to pay the price. I wish Gannett would sober up and stop making the rank and file pay for their bad decisions. For a lot of hardworking people, that one paycheck actually hurts (unlike top brass, who have been wildly overpaid for their dismal performance for, like, forever.) So, yes, it's going to be another summer without camp for the kids, another year of wearing the tires down until it's unsafe to drive another mile, another quarter of scrambling to put out a product with people off left and right. But we are supposed to be grateful, though, 'cause it could always be worse, right? That's the exact Kool-Aid they are serving.

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  10. hey they bought a an old fashion reviewer company, who's going to pay for it?

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  11. The only way we'd have back-up people available is if non-furloughed people put in OT which will kind of defeat the purpose of furloughing folks, right?

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  12. If they would take away the big bonuses from the head honchos, I am sure that we would not have to take furloughs, taking them away should cover the savings they would get from furloughs...

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  13. Freaking condescending jerks!
    Barf!

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  14. Dickey might as well have said: "Thanks so much for your hard work that helps keep the bonuses flowing to the executive suite. Now, we're sorry about this, but we have to screw you again."

    Next time, jerk, spare the BS and just tell the peons what's coming.

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  15. Most alarming: The disclosure that revenue continues to fall, even from the deepest levels if the Great Recession. Dickey offers no forecast for when revenues will hit bottom. Until then, further cost-cutting will be virtually the only means for shoring up profits.

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  16. Yet just two months ago today, Jim posted info whereby Buchanan in Cincinnati was quoted telling newsroom staffers that she had “not heard anything about a first-quarter furlough." Hard to believe that she and many of her peers (who made similar remarks to staff) were that far out of the loop.

    http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/buchanan-reportedly-unaware-of-q1.html

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  17. A one-week furlough equals a nearly 2% annual pay cut.

    Also, Corporate began warning some operating committee members in October that a furlough was under consideration for this quarter.

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  18. Well, maybe we can use that special Careerbuilder.com how-to-find-a-job stuff that is going in the front section of all the Sunday Gannett papers to find a job that will help us escape the buffoonery of the Crystal Palace or Tower or whatever its called.

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  19. My wife is starting a new job several states away the first week of April, I had intended to put in my two-weeks-notice to leave at the end of March.
    I spoke with my superviser just now, and he wrote me down for furcation the last full week of March!
    Suckers!

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  20. Any idea if furloughs are going to expand past USCP into Digital?

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  21. I wonder if Gannett higher ups realize how damn happy people who have left the company are? Even moreso today.

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  22. "The best have options in any economy, and will leave. The worst have no options in any economy and will stay."

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  23. Just in case some people are not aware of this. In the state of New Jersey you are eligible for unemployment benefits as long as you are out 5 consecutive business days. Not real sure about other states but every little bit helps.

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  24. In Indiana you can sign up for unemployment, but you would not receive any $$ unless you had to take a 2nd week furlough. We got screwed on this when we had to take the 2 weeks two years ago.

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  25. 3:36... way to be overly simplistic. As though there can be no other factors holding one in place.
    I'll bet you wear a tie, you're such a good slave parroting your masters like that.

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  26. Yeah, I'm worried about back up. In addition to the furlough last year, we lost a staff member who was my back-up. Now I have to coordinate this furlough with four or five people who have taken over different pieces of the laid off individual's responsibility.
    Plus, there are weeks that I can't be gone at all. Forgetting about the money for a minute, this is a scheduling nightmare.

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  27. Furloughs are a heck of a lot better than layoffs! At least we all get to keep our jobs until the economy rebounds and we can find better ones. Why are you complaining about this?! How about a 5% pay cut across the board?

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  28. These guys just don't change. I was speaking with a current Gannettoid just yesterday who is toiling under a highly risky skeletal staffing level thanks to the latest over-the-top layoffs last August, and she said that despite the general dread and rumors, the lack of any notice was a good sign. She said, "I asked different levels of management and they all said they hadn't heard anything." I cautioned Pollyana: have you forgotten who you work for?

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  29. Ummm... furloughs ARE pay cuts.

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  30. Thanks for the heads up My Boss. Your tip allowed my family to plan ahead for this by cutting back on Christmas vacation plans. I cannot tell My Boss how much my family appreciates what he/she has done for his/her fellow employees. We saved the money and stayed home rather than going to spend the week with relatives in Florida as we had planned. I don't care who My Boss is, but that sort of alert he/she is providing has been of enormous benefit to my family.

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  31. "Our revenue was hideous – which I am sure many of you know based on your individual revenue performance."

    Charming.

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  32. @4:03 Some of us already took a 5 percent pay cut across the board, which is what makes the furloughs all the more abhorrent.

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  33. 4:11 Read the q & a, and you will not be so confident there will not be layoffs as well:
    "4) Q. Will there be layoffs this year?
    A. We want to avoid future layoffs and hope that we can do so by taking steps now to control expenses and focus on top line growth."
    The impression I get clearly from Dickey's memo, is that we are not making their top-line revenue numbers, and that means layoffs are a possibility. I also recall My Boss posted something about more layoffs coming this year, although it is unclear to me where these might come.
    Why they are not making their top line numbers is also unclear to me. I thought this economy was on a roll and headed towards recovery. Yet we all know what the papers look like and the absence of ads, so I guess we are not showing much of the recovery in ads that were expected.

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  34. Feel bad for my friends left behind, but I am so happy I got laid off last year. Truly.

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  35. I feel very sorry for Gannett shareholders. As soon as the economy recovers, all of the employees with any talent will be leaving for greener pastures. There are other places to work, and the skills that these employees have will go right out the door.

    It's impossible to put out a newspaper without quality people.

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  36. Jim, thank you for providing this venue. This steady source of information - and opinion sharing - is invaluable.

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  37. what bothers me most are two things: our health insurance increased -- on average -- 5 percent this year. and, the company in april 2010 lifted the wage freeze. but that was after almost three years without a pay increase. add to these facts the 1.9 percent we lose with each week of furlough (four in three years, so far), and the result isn't pretty for most of us. yet, we pay our dear executives millions. just saying.

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  38. Let's see here, Stocks are up, Revenue is increasing, and the Recession is officially over!!! however employees are still facing furloughs this quarter. Maybe all the bills from all the extended "holiday parties" at the glass palace are starting to mount up, or maybe Craig Dubow needs another 17% raise...

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  39. Rumor in Phoenix is that Arizona Republic (largest paper in USCP) will be exempted because of merger with KPNX. No official word yet.

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  40. Yahoo revenue
    100 Day COUNTDOWN: 67 DAYS TO GO! (WHY? what happens in 67 days?)
    GOAL: $340,000
    REVENUE: $35,196 booked

    That means that we need $4,618 sales per day to meet the goal!!!!

    again ... why? What is all the urgency about? Are we going under if we don't make this so called goal / mendoza line of survival

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  41. 5:22 The urgency is that they need the revenue. Those are absolutely horrible numbers and will certainly result in sweeping changes if they are not met.

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  42. I don't believe shareholders, truly, would agree to Gannett's vision if they knew it was to essentially for C-levels to hold onto their salaries, perks, etc. and do everything it takes to enforce a predetermined, top-down profit per market, EVEN if it means a completely bankrupt company in the not-so distant future.
    Or maybe they just don't care and I'm naive?

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  43. I'm actually more shocked that people are actually shocked Gannett is doing this. Really? I'm not trying to be instigate a virtual lashing, but seriously now, nothing should surprise you anymore. This method of operation is simply the new norm.

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  44. I'll end up making money on this. Lose 5 days pay on furlough and make 10 days OT making up for others' furloughs. How many people do they think exist as back-ups? They're all gone.

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  45. I thought that we were not supposed to cover shifts for someone on furlough if it will cause overtime. Well my department is scheduling just that now. There will be more to come. They've done it the past two years. How is it fair that someone is sitting home NOT making a dime while my company schedules as they see fit to cover shifts? Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

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  46. Phoenix will be exempt.

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  47. "I don't care who My Boss is, but that sort of alert he/she is providing has been of enormous benefit to my family."

    Take notice, corporate trolls. It's not just the rank/file employees who need Jim's blog and those who contribute valuable information. It's so those rank/file employees can take care of their families as best as they can, to better make needed decisions to prepare for what's most likely ahead. (That would be the never-ending furloughs/layoffs/pay freezes that you trolls come up with to keep paying your lofty bonuses and perks. Takes much less brain power and vision to simply do that than actually do what you're paid to do, right? Like come up with a business plan that actually works for the long haul? And create products that resemble something that people would actually buy and advertisers would actually want to purchase space in?)

    4:31, I'm with you: Getting downsized last year was the best thing that ever happened to me. I've never made more money that I have post-GCI, and doing so without having to work every day for such uninspiring, leadership-challenged, visionless managers has probably added years back to my life. The economy is coming back folks! YOU are the ones who are in charge of YOUR careers -- so take your careers back and give GCI the boot!

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  48. Again, everyone please remember that many sites will also see furloughs in the 2nd quarter, with more drastic measures tied to newsprint costs contemplated for a lucky few. You are likely to see the smaller New Jersey papers simply vanish; the change by corporate in July to recalculate and restate core expenses at NT-31 sites that share services from a big sister paper actually demonstrated that they are deep in the red. Layoffs in all of USCP for Q3 if Yahoo! misses. All are hoping Evan comesbto the rescue and negotiates new newsprint pricing by July.

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  49. 5:35 said:
    "5:22 The urgency is that they need the revenue. Those are absolutely horrible numbers and will certainly result in sweeping changes if they are not met."

    I say- they are absolutely horrible numbers for an absolutely horrible product.

    I also say- Sweep away. Preferably the idiots who were two years too late on this disaster. But they won't. They'll continue to threaten their "world class sales force" with execution.

    Screw'em. i'm already interviewing. This place is messed up.

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  50. For anyone wondering, these furloughs do not include USA Today.

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  51. 7:11 -- It doesnt affect USAT "yet", or it won't "at all.". There is a significant difference between the two.....

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  52. Did anyone notice in the memo from Bob that it states that salaried employees must take a full week at once(due to the way salaried employeea re paid), but Outside Sales Reps must take 5 days before March 27th (not at once, just 5 days)... Sales Reps are salaried employees how can they do that.

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  53. I was a mid level manager laid off in November, two weeks before I was laid off I got an email from chairman & ceo Dubow (through a mix up of an executive with the same name as mine I got emails from all the honchos for the 10 years I worked there). The email stated "that with previous layoffs, furloughs and by restructuring debt that Gannett had positioned itself for a profitable 2011. We don't forsee anymore layoffs or furloughs and have reinstated annual raises." More tah 400 were laid off two weeks later. Either he lied, there was an accounting error or they wanted the email leaked to bolster their credit rating and assure investors. The problem is community newspaper are being directed by bean counters at headquareters. They need to set all community newspapers free to publish the kind of papers we did 15 years ago. WE know what our local markets need and they took away space for local news and sports and forced us to run a two page USA Today spread in section A and canned pro and college sports took two pages way from our local sports section.

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  54. For those of you keeping score:
    1. Furloughs just announced. You read it on this blog a few months ago and it will affect all business units except many digital companies.
    2. Jason Tafler, CEO of Pointroll is being removed and replaced by Sandy Dondici, current CTO of Pointroll.
    3. Matt Ferguson, CEO of Careerbuilder is leaving and no replacement yet determined. Jack Williams resides on the board of CB and is now spending more time on CB and Classified Ventures (CV).
    4. GMC member will be announcing his/her retirement this quarter
    5. Gannett has shut down Ripple6
    6. Gannett is buying CafeMom.
    7. Gannett will be reducing 5,000 employees in the next twelve months.
    8. For those of us on Gannett healthcare (medical/dental), we will see a significant increase in payroll deductions to make up for increases in fees to Gannett. These additional costs are being 100% passed along to employees.

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  55. We took a 4.5% pay cut and now here's a furlough. Thing is, I like the furlough.

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  56. As bad as things have been since Gannett marched into the AZ republic, I still liked my job. I haven't sung that tune in months. I now can't wait to move into my next career, I wish it could happen now, but I just have to be patient,

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  57. >> Anonymous said...
    I wonder if Gannett higher ups realize how damn happy people who have left the company are? Even moreso today.

    1/04/2011 3:30 PM<<

    You betcha! I am so glad I turned my back on this company - the best decision I've ever made! Not only will I not see a furlough - for a change I will receive a bonus for a job well done! A bonus that will pay for my vacation this year.

    >>4:31, I'm with you: Getting downsized last year was the best thing that ever happened to me. I've never made more money that I have post-GCI, and doing so without having to work every day for such uninspiring, leadership-challenged, visionless managers has probably added years back to my life. The economy is coming back folks! YOU are the ones who are in charge of YOUR careers -- so take your careers back and give GCI the boot!

    1/04/2011 6:27 PM<<

    Couldn't have sumerized it any better. And yes, you are 100% correct: It adds years back to your life. Working for Gannett reminds me of this particular commercial, where a parrot cries: "Not another day! I can't take it anymore!"

    >>Anonymous said...
    I'm actually more shocked that people are actually shocked Gannett is doing this. Really? I'm not trying to be instigate a virtual lashing, but seriously now, nothing should surprise you anymore. This method of operation is simply the new norm.

    1/04/2011 5:48 PM<<

    And that about sums up Gannett and it's goonies. This kind of giving their employees the proverbial kick in the behind shouldn't surprise anyone.

    >>Why they are not making their top line numbers is also unclear to me. I thought this economy was on a roll and headed towards recovery. Yet we all know what the papers look like and the absence of ads, so I guess we are not showing much of the recovery in ads that were expected.

    1/04/2011 4:26 PM<<

    Yep, gotcha! Wow, where is this top-class advertising crew in the Crystal tower in McLean? Aren't they suppose to be there to inspire our newspapers? Dickey, if I were you I would take a long hard look at your team that obviously doesn't have a clou. Maybe a pay-cut for these overpaid do-nothings would inspire them. Since Martore and Dubow are doing it - why not them? I am sure furloughs could be avoided if they for a change would bite into the sour apple! Furloughs for them are like vacation - they don't loose much.

    >>We encourage all employees to make use of resources such as the Employee Assistance Program which can help you and your family manage through this difficult time.<<

    And what they are supposed to do? Tell you to raid your 401(k)? Bravo, great suggestion.

    >>I will be taking a furlough during the quarter and Craig Dubow and Gracia Martore each will be taking a reduction of salary that is equivalent to a week’s furlough.<<

    How about taking a pay cut just like Martore and Dubow, Mr. Dickey? I am sure that would be more appreciated. At least they decided to stay in the office and work. I can take a vacation,too, if I had your paycheck. LOL!

    Screw'em. i'm already interviewing. This place is messed up.

    1/04/2011 6:45 PM

    Very wise indeed - at least one person who takes initiative. Jobs are out there and yeah it takes a while to update the resume and getting a hang of the interview process again, but it's well worth it. Literally!

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  58. In addition, how about NO bonuses this year for ANYBODY, especially corporate executives who make bonehead deals like Yahoo getting 50% of our sales as now everybody in advertising is so focused on Yahoo that they forget their regular customers. Additionally to the one week furlough, how about management who makes $100k+ take an additional salary reduction of the equivalent of one week furlough; $200k+ management employees take an additional salary reduction of the equivalent of two weeks and on up the food chain. For every 100k, that adds another week of salary reduction. Make it hurt the big whigs. Of course, they won't do that because they are making the rules!

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  59. 8:44 p.m., agreed, but that would include the entire Crystal Tower with the exception of the admins. But then, not many of them left anyway! LOL!

    However, knowing the greed that's going on at Gannett this will never happen. Gannett is surrounded by vultures and they will not stop until the last piece of flesh is gone. Sad, it was once a great company.............

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  60. 8:44 PM: Please tell me you're full of sheit that Yahoo getting 50% of the sale! Please?

    If this is true, then the f'ing idiot at corporate should be tarred and feathered!

    I know we're not servicing our bread and butter advertisers because local management is on our asses to SELL YAHOO! Which 99% of our advertisers can't afford!

    I want to cry, but it won't help.

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  61. From Forbes.com -

    http://people.forbes.com/profile/craig-a-dubow/35769

    Craig A. Dubow
    Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
    Gannett Co., Inc.
    McLean , VA

    Compensation for 2009
    Salary $942,308.00
    Bonus $1,450,000.00
    Restricted stock awards $1,255,000.00
    All other compensation $173,850.00
    Option awards $ $585,000.00
    Non-equity incentive plan compensation $0.00
    Change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings $292,534.00
    Total Compensation $4,698,692.00

    Even if counting just his base salary, his week of furlough means he'd lose out on 23,000.... chump change to him, a years income for others. And this doesn't even count the various bonuses and annual stock awards.

    This is completely ridiculous... but not as far reaching as some execs of other companies.. American Express for example.

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  62. Sure are a lot of changes, Publishers moving around, new regional people... Probably a lot of money spent relocating. I feel terrible for friends who have jobs and still love the newspaper industry. I do not feel sorry for the people who kept their jobs by sucking up to their superiors who in turn, I believe, actually started believing the love and support was genuine. Then there's the product, a dwindling, small version of what was a short time ago which must make loving the industry even harder. Most of my local paper is wire reports I can get on-line, or writers from other parts of the country. I know it makes buying the paper a difficult buying decision. And a subscription is even harder as some papers have cut back, and in Phoenix, delivery has progressively gotten later every year eliminating it as an option. Then there's that USA TODAY section that says (in the printed paper), something like "click here for more", how do I connect a mouse to a paper? But my hat's off to those in the trenches- You're holding the industry together, the company has gotten top heavy and they're simply managing time to their respective retirements and associated benefits.

    Thank you to those with ink on their hands, the delivery people, press people, writers, the advertising salespeople who have to explain, (create) value and the local writers fighting what may be a losing battle to keep a local paper pertinent. You're the keepers of the flame, and the industry if not Gannett, owes you.

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  63. 9:36 The 50% sales split is the same for all publishers participating in the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium -- it's not something Gannett alone negotiated.

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  64. There is a rumor that corporate and the big guys are encouraging employees to only take one to two furlough days off at a time instead of a full week because they are concern that there will be huge revenue loss,this is a huge problem as certain states require furloughs to be at-least 5 days and must be taken consecutive in order to claim unemployment benefits. Its not our choice to take furloughs, we should at least be able to take them when we please and claim 60% of our income.

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  65. MyBoss, Gannett is buying CafeMom? How did I miss that? That explains all the depressing goodbye messages from the discussion leaders on MomsLikeMe. Thank goodness attrition has given me six other jobs in addition to that one.

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  66. On furlough rules, by law, salaried (exempt) employees have to take furlough in full week increments. I have heard several interpretations within Gannett about the outside sales exemption, but they are also exempt employees. Where they are looking at exceptions are for those on low or no base/high commission plans so they don't lose 2 weeks of pay due to no commission. We've found a way around that at our site. For non-exempts, they can take theirs a day at a time, however, any income earned in that week would have to be reported to unemployment for computation in their unemployment benefit amount. It doesn't pay for them to take it a day at a time. Check your state's unemployment website for their rules. Some states have the first week as a waiting period while other states have it later. If your state has the first week as a waiting period, file anyway to establish your eligibility in case of a second furlough.

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  67. from 3:41:
    Just in case some people are not aware of this. In the state of New Jersey you are eligible for unemployment benefits as long as you are out 5 consecutive business days. Not real sure about other states but every little bit helps.

    The reality? Good luck actually collecting in NJ. Any little glitch and they deny you. Try to get a human being on a phone, it is impossible. So the rationalization "you can collect" is B.S.
    My suggestion? Garage sale at Craigs and Gracies and Bobbys house. Proceed to benefit furloughed workers.

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  68. Is Detroit sharing in this? What about USAT?

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  69. I got out of Gannett several years ago and couldn't be happier. It took me a while to get my income back up to where it had been (I took a job in an area with a higher cost of living), but at least during that time I didn't have to deal with a constant cloud of doom.

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  70. This is the most unfortunate of situations. MAJOR incentives and bonuses PAID OUT to highly compensated Gannett staffers. Guess the non-highly paid workers pay for doing a really nice job. My health health insurance went up significantly when I went over the Gannett placed threshold several years ago. The raise (first in three years) was $500.00 above the threshold into a new benefit contribution. My contribution increased by $2,600.00 per YEAR. Basically I took a CUT in PAY, I have still not gained that cut in pay. I did not receive another increase due to the "FREEZE" until this year. Each year I work harder and more to keep my job. My pay continues to decrease.
    Someone tell me, why are we doing this? How do we make Gannett realize they MUST take ACTION and stop the "talk".
    Announce NO MORE BONUSES to those that obviously do not need it.
    Big Business once again looking out for themselves and not those that support them.
    Disgusting

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  71. So, just out of curiosity, what does it mean in real people dollars if DuBow and Martore take a "reduction in salary equal to a week's furlough"? Maybe I missed this, but it would help provide a "snapshot" that might be jaw-dropping when placed in context with what the peons make, especially when balanced against what Martore and DuBow take home each year in salary and bonuses.

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