Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Urgent: Text of letter from broadcasting's Lougee

KUSA-TV in Denver just received this email from Dave Lougee, according to Anonymous@2:12 p.m.:

June 23, 2009

Dear colleague,

While many are cautiously optimistic that the worst of this economic downturn will soon be over, the broadcast industry continues to feel the effects. The decline in the auto industry alone – once about 30 percent of our division’s ad business – is a major challenge for us. And that’s just one example of the changes we are seeing.

I believe it’s clear there will be a permanent reset of the American economy on the other side of the economic storm. On top of that, our industry has been impacted by the revolution in the way people consume media and the way advertisers try to reach them.

Even so, our division’s financial results continue to be at the top of the industry. With your help, ideas, and some tough choices, we have made important and innovative strides in how we allocate resources to best serve our viewers, communities and advertisers, on any and all platforms.

These efforts, combined with some proactive financial decisions, will help us stay strong. In effect, we have to have our own “reset” to match the changes in the broadcasting business. As a result, we are making the following changes in compensation for employees making $30,000 or more in order to reduce costs and minimize the need for additional job-related actions in the future.

Effective July 1, for:
  • Employees making $30,000 to $39,999, compensation is reduced 4%.

  • Employees making $40,000 to $49,999, compensation is reduced 5%.
  • Employees making $50,000 and higher, compensation is reduced 6%.

The salary reduction will be calculated from your base annual salary. More details are included in the attached fact sheet. Again, employees making less than $30,000 are not affected.

I want to thank you for the sacrifices you are making, and for the support you’ve provided each other during these difficult times I encourage you to talk with your managers about this change, and please feel free to contact me to discuss this or any other issues of importance to you.

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green rail, upper right.


  1. Ok... so here's the math the way that I read this.

    If you make $60,000 per year, and you take a 6% wage cut, that's $3,600 that you must take for the balance of the year. So, for the last six months, you would have earned $30,000, so this amounts to a 12% reduction in your paycheck for the rest of the year.

    If you make $100,000 per year, that would be $6,000... or over the remaining $50,000 that you have not made, also 12%.

    Looks like the memo that Jim sourced was accurate. Again.

  2. Thanks! Corporate's apologists are among us already; perhaps they'll take note.

  3. Jim... you got it right again, and now it's time to gloat.

    So have at it. They guy that said "only 6% and Jim got it wrong..." what an idiot.

    Journos not typically good at math, but come on.

  4. Of course we have already taken 2 weeks of furlough and got no pay raise this year. I was told that the shops that have taken pay reductions already will now have to do furloughs.

    Great place to work.


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."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.