Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Feb 6 -- Got news or an update? (updated)

If you have news or an update, leave it in comments.

UPDATED: In comments there is discussion about whether McClatchy can legally offer different buyout packages ("transition packages" -- ha!) at its newspapers. Some have said McClatchy could be vulnerable to a class action lawsuit if employees at some newspapers get a better buyout offer than people at other newspapers. I don't see it. Compensation across McClatchy isn't uniform, so why should the "transition packages" be equal?

UPDATE #2: This stinks: bankruptcy judge reduces employee benefits roughly in half. Apparently this applies to workers fired without cause.

If you have info on layoffs or furloughs or other cuts, leave your comment here.
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52 comments:

Cotton said...

http://southcarolina1670.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/what-does-mcclatchy-news-mean-for-carolinas/

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if some layoffs happen today at The KC Star. They have always done them on a Friday.

Anonymous said...

All the papers have had cuts the last few years while the ranks of corporate grow in Sacramento. More new faces of youngsters! They should trim some of the dead wood in shared services!

McClatchy Watch said...

While the local papers get bloodied, John Walcott's DC bureau is untouchable.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know what the "Transition" package will include? How many weeks for each year service????? How long the Health Insurance will last????

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the "Transition package" but buyouts are usually one weeks pay for every year of service.

Anonymous said...

Some papers were better. I don't think the buyouts were the same for each paper. Mainly I think because the pay structure differs so much from state to state.

Anonymous said...

I also think there was a max. cap of weeks of 26.

Anonymous said...

The very first round in Sac offered up to 40 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Of course they take almost 1/2 in taxes....

Anonymous said...

KC max 26

Anonymous said...

"I wouldn't be surprised if some layoffs happen today at The KC Star. They have always done them on a Friday."
----------------
Except in June and November, when they happened on a Monday. And in September, when they happened on a Wednesday.
Sorry. No Fridays. Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

7:28 You don't know what your talking about.

Anonymous said...

7:28 My husband was one of them and IT WAS A FRIDAY.

Anonymous said...

Don't we just love to hear from the folk from KC that ruin McClatchy? That built that BIG print plant that nobody wants and is now for sale with NO BUYERS. Who cares what day it was.

Anonymous said...

Except in June and November, when they happened on a Monday. And in September, when they happened on a Wednesday.
Sorry. No Fridays. Thanks for playing.
____________________

Good. Thanks for clearing that up. Accuracy always counts. So, this means that employees who are not laid off on a Friday are not really laid off?

It is so good to have classically trained professionals keeping an eye on things.

Anonymous said...

Actually, 7:28 does know what he/she is talking about. Layoffs occured on Monday.

Anonymous said...

What, sounds like you have a
"Royal Fisbin"?

"Except in June and November, when they happened on a Monday. And in September, when they happened on a Wednesday. Sorry. No Fridays.

Thanks for playing."

Anonymous said...

Thanks Zieman for clearing this up. Like we really all care. Maybe they were all drinking and don't remember.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what day layoffs are planned for in any given circumstance???!!! Layoffs are planned and that's all that really counts. Get ready to job search.

Archer05 said...

Star plans more job cuts
By DAN MARGOLIES
The Kansas City Star

Blah, Blah, Blah!
However, the article says:
To reach Dan Margolies, call 816-234-4481 or send e-mail to dmargolies@kcstar.com.

What if he was asked about the top salaries at the Star? Business writers should be asking these questions, it does translate into honest efforts to save the newspaper.

http://www.kansascity.com/business/story/1020087.html

Anonymous said...

Will somebody explain how over 430,000 shares of McClatchy has been traded today and the stock is up.

Anonymous said...

9:14 because today is Friday.

Anonymous said...

FYI rumor has McClatchy Corp is monitoring this blog oh well good for them now they know how we all really feel

Gary if ur reading this I have a few questions and thoughts

First, u must have voted for bush, right? So sad thanks to that man we are in this econimic crisis

Second, this outsourcing credit\finance is crazy! Save your money stop spending it on bringing the overseas people to the U.S to have us teach them what we do. I couldn't bear to sit and teach someone from India how to do my job knowing they are taking it from me!! Hell maybe we get someone from India to take your place for cheaper pay so we can keep our jobs.
Soundsw good to me!

Anonymous said...

Anon. writes: "First, u must have voted for bush, right? So sad thanks to that man we are in this econimic crisis"

If you still think that, you are not even reading your own paper. The housing crash started the ball rolling, and why did we have a housing crash?

Anonymous said...

> why did we have a housing crash?

Because we had a housing bubble.

Anonymous said...

why did we have a housing crash?
*
Because we had a housing bubble.
*
And, we had a housing bubble because lenders were forced to give loans to people that were not qualified. I know people that somehow got 100% mortgages. Now those homes are lights out, and we are paying for them.

Anonymous said...

Lack of regulation did not help either. To think Corporate America/Wallstreet can regulate itself is a joke. I new it then, and we will all pay for it now.

Anonymous said...

More at KC blogs:

Kansas City Star readers representative Derek Donovan says Rhonda Lokeman retired as a columnist after her last column was published 12/28 -- just days before her DUI arrest.
She retired the first of January.

I think the layer and the layee knew the jig was up, finally, after hiding behind every sham available, lights out, a glass of wine and a tireless rim, set things right.

Comment:, Lokeman’s lights have been out for quite awhile.

Anonymous said...

Why so few comments from the Sac Bee employees? The Sac Bee was a big red-inker. Are they in the golden circle or something?

Anonymous said...

"She retired the first of January."

And then one of the four tires fell off and she was on her way to re-tire again. That's what I'd tell the judge.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Anonymous said...

12:32 Yes they have been the big red-inkers for a very long time. Not only that they got up to 40 weeks of pay offered in the buyout. Now the only they produce is Gary and Red-Ink.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know the salary of Melanie Sill? She is the one behind offering the state salary database isn't she?

Anonymous said...

The online government salary database sounded like good public information, but it ended up pitting taxpayers against state workers. That was rather a bitter little go-round. As a business person, I would not make state workers mad at me, being in a city with so many state workers. Also, the information was available at the state government’s site. Offending your customers seems like bad business judgment to me.

Anonymous said...

I think MNI had better have an uniform layoff plan in place. It seems to me the one place lawsuits could flourish is if favoritism enters the picture. The rumor is that Gannett already has a giant class action law suit brewing. If they are doing something wrong, I hope they get nailed to the wall.

Anonymous said...

1:53 You couldn't be more correct and I think it's too late. I think people would be shocked if they knew the difference in how employees have treated.
Wonder if any lawyers are out there reading this.

Anonymous said...

Hey McClatchy Watch how about a header on 1:53 & 2:31 point. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

The buyouts were totally different at each paper and at each time at the same papers. Yet same company. Different strokes for folks. Legal???? Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Well, bad news just got worse. DOW Jones Newswire UPDATE.

(Updated to add Fitch downgrade, updates stock price.)

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings pushed their ratings on ailing newspaper publisher McClatchy Inc. (MNI) to highly speculative territory due to concerns the company may violate debt covenants by year's end.

Anonymous said...

At our paper, those taking the buyouts received 2 wks pay for every year worked, up to a certain maximum, which I can't remember. And we had the option of continuing the insurance, at a huge rate, for up to 6 mos. It was 3 mos. for the first round of layoffs, but they raised it to 6 mos. for the second round.

Anonymous said...

“The online government salary database sounded like good public information”

That whole thing was Sill’s idea to get the hits up so they could charge more for ads. It did cause a ruckus at first, and the hits were people checking on neighbors salaries, and then bitching about state salaries. In the end it was nothing more than a place for mean spirited people to pump up their rage.

I think Sill also worked it so employees signing on to work, made another hit, which also upped the users count for ad charges.

Anonymous said...

Class Action???? Buyouts Packages different at each paper.

Some poster wrote that Gannett's people are looking at this also.

Anonymous said...

Tribune Co. to reduce severance payouts

Bankruptcy judge approves cutting benefit roughly in half
By Julie Johnsson

The policy essentially halves the payout to workers who are fired without cause. They will receive two weeks' pay for their first year of service and an additional week's pay for every subsequent year. Employees who left in 2008 received a week's pay for every six months on the job.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-wed-tribune-severence-feb04,0,951218.story

Anonymous said...

Different buyouts for different papers?

Are they legal? They are ordered by the parent company are they not? Health insurance offered through parent company, are they not? So, why would papers weeks of pay and weeks of insurance be different for each paper through a buyout? Both are a corporate thing.

Anonymous said...

A word to the wise: watch closely that Tribune bankruptcy settlement of pension issues since I expect MNI is facing a similar conclusion this year.
Look how the judge handled people who took buyouts, but didn't settle them for whatever reason before the bankruptcy was filed. I think some were waiting for the year to turn for tax reasons. Well, they really got screwed by this. Lesson; get a check from MNI, drive to the bank and cash it as soon as possible. THose Tribune employees who cashed their checks made it through OK.

Anonymous said...

9:06 Good Point. Here is another thing to consider. To get some employees to take the buyout they offered and paid for health insurance for 12 months. I wonder how a judge would treat that? If it was thrown out then McClatchy breaks a contract that they required all to sign.

If no bankruptcy this is all moot. Back to the question about treating papers different.

Anonymous said...

Maybe were not talking about the same thing on compensation.

Example: 2 week pay for each year of service.

Why would that be different for each paper? I don't think it should be. We're not talking how much you make an hour because the jobs could be diffrent. Legal?

Anonymous said...

10:05 Health care is different. Under Cobra, you pick up the full costs of a company-operated health plan, paying from $400 to $600 a month for continued health benefits. Bankruptcy judges generally don't tamper with these benefits. If the company goes out of business, of course then the health plan dies.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear from a employment law expert about severance packages. Is there anything that compels them even being offered or even fairly? I mean, as long as protected classes weren't singled out-could management say "everyone who wore plaid today, gets 1 week per year, everyone else 2 weeks". I guess if you were of scottish descent and wore your native garb, that might be discriminatory.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything that compels them even being offered or even fairly?
-----

No, McClatchy like many others operate as a conglomerate of pseudo independent companies. Different geographical locations have different costs of living, costs of employment, costs of benefits, housing, and labor pools.

If they tried telling a company in Florida that they had to have the exact same compensation as they do in Alaska it would spell disaster on an unprecedented scale.

Anonymous said...

Some posters have said there is a rumor that the SacBee has gotten the most generous buyouts, while they are the deepest red-inker newspaper. I wish there was a way to look into that. You hear the least from them, and maybe there is a good reason for that. Just saying….

Anonymous said...

My assumption about Sac Bee always seeming to get better benefits - and the way it's been explained to us in the past by management and publishers - has been it's a union issue. They're unionized, we're not, so there are different rules, apparently.

Plus, you're dealing with different laws in different states.

Also, I'm under the assumption the individual papers have some leeway in what they offer for buyouts. Of course, I'm sure corporate has to okay their plan, but they still get to make proposals.