Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Text of Dickey memo on newspaper furloughs

Newspaper division president Bob Dickey (left) issued the following memo today, following CEO Craig Dubow's announcement, moments ago, of mandatory one-week furloughs.

To:  All U.S. Community Publishing employees
From:  Bob Dickey  

The national recession is worsening and companies across America, inside and outside of our industry, are taking bold steps to help offset the current situation.
Like others, Gannett has had to make some very difficult decisions over the past year. Having to reduce staff, reformat newspapers and end delivery to some customers has had a deep impact on our company and all of us. We have consulted with many of you on how to minimize the impact on our readers and customers. 

With your help and commitment, we have continued publishing quality products and populating Web sites daily. We are innovating and growing our digital businesses. We are working to emerge from this downturn with new energy and new solutions for our customers. Due to our financial management, Gannett remains an industry leader.   

Unfortunately, the advertising environment is still difficult and the economic issues unprecedented. We must take additional steps even as we focus on growing our local readership and market share revenues.     

As a result of your feedback, and in an effort to minimize the need for more layoffs, I have decided to take another approach as we enter 2009. To that end, every non-represented employee in the USCP division will be furloughed for five business days during this quarter. That includes me, your publisher, everyone. Unions will be asked to accept furloughs in lieu of layoffs. We all will be sharing the financial hardship.     

To be clear, a furlough means you will not work and will not be paid for furlough days.    

Exempt, salaried employees must take one full payroll week within the pay period. Non-exempt, hourly employees may take five days at any pre-approved time before the last weekend in March.   

If you are not sure which category you are in, check with your Human Resources representative. Also, a fact sheet is attached that should answer any questions you may have.  If not, talk with your supervisor or email me at  

I am determined to maintain our operations, provide the best local news and information for our readers and help keep Gannett a healthy company. I thank you in advance for joining me in achieving this goal.


  1. How far down will this go? As an ex-ArmyTimes Publishing staffer, I'm wondering if it will go there, too?

  2. How about the publisher taking a few of his VACATION/HOLIDAY Pay and donate it back to the staff?

    Or how about ANYONE making six figures to take a few weeks off, so the lower wage people can actually feed the family that week?

    Yeah I understand that these are tough times, but why is it that whenever these times hit, I still see my CEO driving his big SUV to his private dock so he can cruise on his boat? While I struggle to get a gallon of gas so I can make it to work!

    There are other ways to make savings (which MUST be transferred to the remaining employees, or you just have a larger profit margin going to CEO's).

  3. here is a song that i wrote

    Fur-lough, Fur-lough
    It's off from work we go
    They took our pay
    And said Go Play
    Fur-lough, Fur-lough

    Fur-lough, Fur-lough, Fur-lough
    It's off from work we go
    We'll have no bucks
    And boy that sucks
    Fur-lough, Fur-lough

    Fur-lough, Fur-lough, Fur-lough
    It's off to work we go
    It's sad we are broke
    But we're Gannett folk
    Fur-lough, Fur-lough

  4. I work for ATPCo and management claim it does not apply to us because under USA today the numbers were met.

  5. I work for ATPCo and management claims it wouldn't affect us because we are on the USA Today side and we have met our numbers but it will affect Gannett Offset.

  6. Dear Anonymous at ATPCo,

    That's good news. There are many, many good people in Springfield and they don't deserve to lose a week. Then again, I can't think of anyone at Gannett who does.

    Mark K.

  7. Anyone else out there working for one of the newspapers that are in the black, were asked to make cuts (and did) and are now also subject to the furlough? I understand this applies to several of the smaller California papers.

  8. Freedom Communications is doing the same thing but we aren't sure if our CEO is taking the hit.

    Our furlough starts April 1


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