Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Here's the text of Dickey's memo on Q1 furloughs


Jan. 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.




  1. Furloughed Fury1/04/2011 11:01 PM

    I have a question for all the trolls who've trashed talked Jim on the blog. Can you hear that? It is the sound of all the USCP employees facing furlough screaming " told you so."
    To the big five executives who each took a $1 million bonus in 010, thank you on behalf of all the employees who will have to tighten their belts so you could get a little more of the fat cash you don't deserve.
    To the trolls who will respond, "What are you complaining about, you can collect unemployment", I hope feel good about stealing taxpayer dollars for corporate greed.
    Hey Dickey, how about a business plan for the 21st century? The shareholders should give you one year to come up with one or sack your greedy asses.
    Oh that's right, I forgot. Those types of ultimatums are only given to working stiffs. Who are about to be furloughed.

  2. To the executives who took a $1 million bonus in 2010, thank you.
    Thanks for letting me know you are living well and Im just trying to make ends meet. How much will your bonus be this year? It should be outlawed that corporations are allowed to take money from the employees and then turn around and give it to themselves. It should be mandatory for all to loose a week pay. And also have to have a pay freeze with no raise like the rest of us. Pretty ridiculous. How can you live with yourself and sleep? Shame on you!

  3. Despite the grammar/spelling thing, 7:15 brings up a valid point: To clearly link a 7-figure, individual bonus structure to savings that came directly out of the pockets of workers via layoffs and fur-cations is not only a moral outrage, but should be investigated. And if there are no federal checks that make such a practice illegal, then there should be. After all, how much 'executive talent' does it take to say: "We'll just keep firing people and then essentially dole out pay cuts to the rest ..."?

    Meanwhile, those same execs continue to take home inflated regular salaries year-in, year-out while providing no concrete vision for growth and real sustainability. The lack of accountability here is absolutely astonishing. GCI is now nothing more than a personal ATM for a few, visionless, morally bankrupt execs. It's been on a clear, downhill slide ever since Curley and Co. exited and the Dubow Era began.

  4. You know, it's not necessarily possible to collect unemployment for these furloughs. There's always a "waiting week" which means that we need a second round of one week furloughs within six months in order to be eligible for a week of unemployment. At least in my state....

  5. to 9:27, you're absolutely right. Short-sighted execs cut enough every year to make their own bonus. Likely, the company will be bought cheap and liquidated. But rather than getting their just deserts, C-level will disappear into a wealthy retirement.

  6. What a joke about the furloughs for the Three Stooges, Dickey, Martore and Dubow, as if that'll make a difference. What heroes we have coming to the rescue.

  7. Damn can't treat the pool this week.

  8. Newsquest, Gannett's UK operation, urged its employees to take a voluntary furlough. It has now emerged that while the poorly paid workers were losing a week's pay "for the good of the company'', Newsquest's top UK executive received a 20% pay rise (about $150,000) that year and a substantial increase in payments towards his pension. Also, Newsquest's employees have seen their pay frozen for three years.

  9. The Peter Principal is alive and well at Gannett!

  10. When I was in college, I studied to become a journalist so that I could expose America's evil-doers.

    Now I work for them.


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