Jim says: This is a write-thru; many comments on this first post.
Gannett's dramatic steps today apply to nearly all 41,500 worldwide employees, for at least one week in the second quarter, the nation's beleaguered No. 1 newspaper publisher said today.
"Our revenue numbers continue their downward slide and we have been faced with more difficult decisions,'' Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow (left) told employees in a memo.
The wage and salary freeze applies at least to the U.S. newspapers, the company's biggest unit; it is effective April 1 through March 31, 2010, division President Bob Dickey told the 29,000 employees in a separate memo. Those division employees earning $90,000 and above must take two weeks without pay in the second quarter. Division employees at Corporate in McLean, Va., must take one week of unpaid leave and also will have a temporary pay reduction equivalent to one week's pay.
Gannett's move this morning is the 102-year-old company's latest bid to contain costs, after revenue plunged 24% in the first two months of this quarter.
Wall Street investors rallied -- although, on a day when stock markets overall rocketed higher. GCI soared 9.8%, closing at $2.35, up 21 cents. The Dow Jones industrials and the S&P-500 index were both up 7% at the close.
But employees raged soon after the announcement, made just five days after Corporate disclosed that the board of directors paid $2 million in all-cash 2008 bonuses to Dubow and the other top four executives.
"Feds should DEMAND a clawback of the board's ill-gotten bonuses," said Anonymous@2:20 p.m. "The outrage in my unit towards this is off the charts, especially after today's announcement.
It's worse than taking a private jet to DC to ask for bailout money."
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