The emails poured in from local newsers at Gannett stations Wednesday as they reeled from the company’s latest effort to cut costs: everyone’s getting a week off, without pay: “Today Gannett is implementing a furlough program across all U.S. divisions and at corporate headquarters. This means that most of our U.S. employees – including myself and all other top executives – will be furloughed for the equivalent of one week in the first quarter. This furlough will be unpaid. Unions also will be asked to participate,” wrote Gannett CEO Craig Dubow in a memo to employees.
The upshot? Everybody will take a week off, and they will not be paid. The company calls it a “difficult decision.” The cold facts came as tough reading for employees who will be asked to kick in a week’s pay to help Gannett: “To be clear, a furlough means you will not work and will not be paid for furlough days. Exempt, salaried employees must take one full payroll week within the payroll period. Non-exempt, hourly employees may take five days at any pre-approved time before the last weekend in March.”
Wow. A tough financial punch, and everyone’s taking it NOW.
Gannett folk: what’s the reaction inside your newsrooms?