Austin American-Statesman staffers will get holiday bonuses, raises in 2010

Memo from American-Statesman publisher Michael Vivio

Dear Statesman Associates:

A few months ago I wrote to give you the bad news that the Statesman was not going to be able to pay an end-of-year bonus for 2009. I hated to pass along such news because I know how hard each of you has worked during this tumultuous year.

However, today I have good news to share. Our (your) strong expense controls and an improvement in our revenue trend will allow us to continue the tradition of paying a holiday bonus this year – albeit slightly smaller than last. The Statesman will finish 2009 with a respectable profit and good prospects for next year. This is a tremendous accomplishment given the continued bad economic conditions and other challenges we have faced together. This bonus will be paid on Thursday afternoon.

Also, I am writing to inform you that our company pool for pay increases will be 1.5 percent during 2010. Those who receive promotions will merit further review on a case-by-case basis, and we will continue to link raises to job performance. So, while some may get more than 1.5 percent and others less, the company average raise will be 1.5% for 2010.

The good news above doesn’t mean that our job of transforming this company is finished. The economy is improving, but not fast enough. We have many efficiency projects in process, but sometimes they involve uncomfortable change. However, this last year has mde me confident that we can rise to meet whatever challenge is presented. I have seen how each of you possess the ability to be creative and focused on the big picture and I urge you to continue this trait. We need you to remain engaged and working everyday to make this company stronger. Lastly, I want to invite you to attend one of several State of the Paper meetings that we will be scheduling for January. In those meetings I will share with you our 2009 results, plus our projection for 2010. You will hear about the projects and initiatives we have in progress and we will take a moment to celebrate the successes we had this year. Thank you for your efforts to make the Statesman successful. I hope each of you has a wonderful Holiday. Sincerely, Michael

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