Gannett to institute furloughs in first quarter of 2010

Memo to Gannett employees

December 1, 2009
To: All US Community Publishing employees
From: Bob Dickey

We are just completing the preliminary budgets for 2010. Thanks to all of your hard work and efforts to keep our costs down this year and create greater efficiencies across the division, we are heading into the new year with some solid improvements under our belt. We have seen some promising trends in advertising with ad declines slowing throughout the year and as we begin the holiday shopping season, we are also seeing some indication that retailers may be spending more on advertising.

While these trends are encouraging, the overall economy is still fragile with a number of business uncertainties. Therefore, as we head into 2010, we think it is prudent to take a conservative approach toward managing our business. Toward that end, we have decided to implement furloughs across USCP during the first quarter. This is not a companywide initiative though Corporate and some of Gannett’s other operations have also decided to put furloughs into place during the first quarter. No one on the Gannett Management Committee makes these decisions lightly and we understand and appreciate the difficulties furloughs have placed on many of you and your families. The furloughs we took companywide this year, however, saved Gannett a significant amount of money and helped us get through what has been unquestionably the toughest time we have ever faced as a company and division.

We are instituting the furloughs during the first quarter because it is traditionally the lightest time of the year for us. Non-union USCP employees, including me, will be furloughed for five business days during the quarter. We will be communicating separately with union representatives and asking for their support of the furloughs. However, those union-represented employees who recently negotiated pay reductions in their contracts will not be furloughed.

Exempt, salaried employees must take one full payroll week within the pay period, to be completed by Sunday, March 28. 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, check with your Human Resources representative or supervisor. The attached FAQ should answer any questions you may have.

I cannot stress enough how much the entire leadership of USCP and Gannett appreciate your hard work and many accomplishments which have helped us maintain the industry standard for excellence and leadership in many areas during extraordinarily difficult times. Our community publishing business is doing better and, with the organizational changes

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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