Thursday, January 19, 2012

Detroit | Tip: abrupt furloughs; cuts elsewhere

In an e-mail, a reader tells me that the Gannett-controlled Detroit Media Partnership and Gannett-owned Detroit Free Press yesterday announced "sudden" first-quarter furloughs that are to be taken in the next 10 weeks.

Those two Detroit businesses are not part of GCI's U.S. community newspaper division, so were not included in the first-quarter furloughs that had been announced in November.

Meanwhile, in other payroll cuts, I've been told about an estimated several dozen layoffs planned by the end of the month at another, non-newspaper business. That tip, from a well-placed reader, comes amid growing speculation among Gannett Bloggers that Corporate has approved a round of buyouts for certain employees. Indeed, I know of one newspaper site where those buyouts have been OK'd and are expected to be offered by early February.

All of this chatter is coming as Corporate gets ready to report fourth-quarter and full-year financial results in a release set for Jan. 30.


  1. No wonder Gannett shares have been up lately. More cost cutting. Or, as Gracia says, "reallocating resources."

  2. This is exactly what happened in 2009 when I was at a Gannett TV station. In late January, while I was on medical leave, I got an e-mail indicating that we had to take a one-week furlough in Q1.

    If they'd told us in Q4, I would've taken the furlough for the five required sick days you had to use before taking medical leave. So, y'know, thanks for that, Gannett.

  3. Details, Jim?

  4. 9:25 Unfortunately, these are all the details I can post right now.

  5. And those details are gossip. You have nothing credible.

    One stupid rumor already has collapsed here in the last two days. Why give birth to another one?

  6. Jim, please try to keep the wild rumors off the blog. Thanks.

  7. I'm cross-posting the following because it's relevant here, too.

    I've just received another e-mail from a reader -- this one, someone who's been a long-time and very reliable source in the Detroit operations.

    This reader told me that DMP President Joyce Jenereaux sent a memo late yesterday afternoon, advising managers about the need for a furlough to be taken by the end of period 3. In other words: by March 31.

    The problem, of course: It's already Jan. 20, so those furloughs must be squeezed into a much more narrow window.

  8. I'm cross-posting the following because the rumor is here, too.

    Not enough advance warning to be true. Hence, not true. Hence, gossip.


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."

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