Tag Archives: furlough

Media General Goes With Employee Furloughs: 10 Unpaid Days in ’09

Media Generals WVTM/Birmingham

Media General's WVTM/Birmingham

Media General confirmed the rumors today, with word that “despite aggressive sales initiatives and significant cost reductions already implemented, we need to build in additional expense savings to offset the revenue shortfalls we anticipate,” in the decidedly corporate words of Marshall Morton, Media General’s CEO.  To put in words more commonly floated around television newsrooms, you just got two weeks off, whether you want ’em–or can afford ’em.  No pay.

Media General owns 19 local television stations, including WFLA/Tampa, WVTM/Birmingham, WSAV/Savannah, and WJAR/Providence.  Employees will be forced to take ten unpaid days, including four days off before the end of March, according to the Associated Press.  The AP reports the company has already cut costs by $19 million dollars by suspending matching payments to employees’ 401(k) retirement plans.

Media Generals WSAV/Savanahh

Media General's WSAV/Savanahh

The furloughs follow a round of corporate layoffs across several Media General stations over the last few months, including 80 positions cut in Florida last November, and on-air cuts in Birmingham and Charleston just weeks ago.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the furloughs are mandatory for all non-union, non-contract employees, though union and contract employees will be asked to “voluntarily” participate in the ten no work, no pay days.

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Media General Goes With Employee Furloughs: 10 Unpaid Days in '09

Media Generals WVTM/Birmingham

Media General's WVTM/Birmingham

Media General confirmed the rumors today, with word that “despite aggressive sales initiatives and significant cost reductions already implemented, we need to build in additional expense savings to offset the revenue shortfalls we anticipate,” in the decidedly corporate words of Marshall Morton, Media General’s CEO.  To put in words more commonly floated around television newsrooms, you just got two weeks off, whether you want ’em–or can afford ’em.  No pay.

Media General owns 19 local television stations, including WFLA/Tampa, WVTM/Birmingham, WSAV/Savannah, and WJAR/Providence.  Employees will be forced to take ten unpaid days, including four days off before the end of March, according to the Associated Press.  The AP reports the company has already cut costs by $19 million dollars by suspending matching payments to employees’ 401(k) retirement plans.

Media Generals WSAV/Savanahh

Media General's WSAV/Savanahh

The furloughs follow a round of corporate layoffs across several Media General stations over the last few months, including 80 positions cut in Florida last November, and on-air cuts in Birmingham and Charleston just weeks ago.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the furloughs are mandatory for all non-union, non-contract employees, though union and contract employees will be asked to “voluntarily” participate in the ten no work, no pay days.

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Gannett to Newsers: You Will Not Work, You Will Not Be Paid

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?

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