Thursday, February 5, 2009

What are you hearing about the $100 million to $110 million in cuts?? (bumped)

McClatchy says it will make $100 million to $110 million in cuts but didn't announce what form the cuts will take -- other than freezing pension payments and halting matching contributions to its 401k plan.

This will be a forum for readers to leave info on what you are hearing about the cuts.

Yesterday readers posted information they were hearing about unpaid furloughs. From comments, as yet unconfirmed: Macon, Charlotte, Raleigh... wait -- a contrary report on Raleigh: no official announcement yet... Charlotte: in meetings, both the publisher and editor have mentioned furloughs, wage cuts and layoffs... Both have said we will definitely lose people... in Lexington, nothing ...

In comments, leave information you have heard -- and please, when you post in comments leave your city first. Example: "Charlotte -- management says...." This will help me to compile information. I'll be updating as information comes in.
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38 comments:

McClatchy Watch said...

Remember to start your comment with your city -- ex: "In Lexington..."

Anonymous said...

Myrtle Beach will have layoffs, don't know how many. Publisher announced it this morning but didn't give details.

Anonymous said...

ditto above Raleigh

Anonymous said...

Fort Worth will have layoffs, publisher e-mail just confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Lexington will have layoffs in the next few weeks.

Anonymous said...

I'm just sad about all this. I think management has made huge mistakes, but I take no delight in watching the newspaper industry crumble.

I was laid off from the S-T in June, wasn't happy at all about it. The paper let some of the most talented walk out the door, and it was incredible to me. But I still want the paper to be a success for the community, for the first amendment, for the remaining employees.

Anonymous said...

Anchorage is facing layoffs (doesn't say how many yet), frozen pensions and the suspension of employer matching of 401ks.

Anonymous said...

KC Star email from Zieman says cuts will be coming. They are looking at alternatives instead of layoffs.

Anonymous said...

Correction on The KC Star info. There WILL be layoffs but also looking at alternatives to LIMIT the number.

Anonymous said...

Correction on The KC Star info. There WILL be layoffs--

Everyone already knows how that will go, no dark secrets here.

Anonymous said...

How can someone running a failing company get a bonus of 5 million dollars?

No wonder they have to cut 100 million, it's to cover their bonus's for next year....

Anonymous said...

All the "annoucements" are the same because they came from a form-type announcement. Just fill in the newspaper and send it. It's a corporate announcement that each publisher dressed up as his/her own.

Anonymous said...

With the "freezing" of pension plans... for those of us who no longer work at McClatchy - are our pensions safe or should we look to move them now?

Anonymous said...

In Fort Worth...
Please read the document below. If you are interested, the senior management team and I will be available to answer questions today at4:00 pm in the downtown 4th floor conference area located next to the 6th St. elevator.



To: All Employees



From: Gary Wortel



Subject: McClatchy Announcement



Date: Feb. 5, 2009



This morning, McClatchy announced that it is freezing its pension plans and temporarily suspending the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31. McClatchy also announced that it will cut an additional $100 million to $110 million or approximately 7% of 2008 cash expenses over the next 12 months, beginning later in the first quarter of 2009. The press release is available at www.mcclatchy.com. McClatchy will send more detail on the retirement changes to you directly, both by e-mail and information mailed to your home.



Here at the Star-Telegram we have seen an unprecedented loss in advertising revenue with many of our best customers either going out of business or closing locations, and employment advertising dropping to all time lows. In response to these losses we are developing plans to reduce expenses. Unfortunately, these cuts will include position eliminations.



We have also determined we will be outsourcing some of our Finance functions to Infosys, a global consulting firm. The transition process will begin on Monday, February 16th, and should be completed by the end of June. We will be completing the transition to APAC, our customer service vendor in the next 60 days. We also are exploring several other alternatives to limit the number of layoffs. We will share these details with you just as soon as they are final.



We understand how disruptive it is to receive these announcements without more specific information. We also understand that today’s announcement is especially discouraging given all the cuts made in 2008. We had hoped that previous cuts would be sufficient to see us through the sharp revenue declines affecting our industry. Instead, we must continue to respond to the unprecedented and deepening financial crisis that is threatening not only our industry, but all kinds of businesses in almost every sector of the economy.



The decisions we now need to make are difficult, but we will act quickly, deliberately and with an eye toward the future. We are positioning this newspaper to compete and succeed in a demanding, competitive, more integrated media environment. We will remain the community’s most comprehensive source of news and advertising.



As in the past, we will work quickly to notify employees who may be affected by staff reductions. As we have just begun work on these plans now, you may not hear more from us for at least a few weeks. Employees whose positions are eliminated will be provided with a transition package that will include severance pay and benefits continuation. We also will provide outplacement services and do everything possible to make their transition as smooth as possible.



There’s no way The Star-Telegram would be able to manage through today’s difficult environment without the talent, innovation and dedication of our staff. I know we’ve asked a lot of you in the past and we are asking more from you today. I hope we can continue to count on you. Thank you for all you do.









Gary Wortel

President & Publisher

Star-Telegram

817-390-7944 Phone

817-336-2790 FAX

Anonymous said...

You can't move a pension plan. Is it safe? Well, supposedly so, but after McClatchy took over the Knight Ridder plan last month, they could well have an angle on how to raid it.

If you're already collecting your pension then it means that you can't get any adjustments to it, and if you are not, they will no longer be contributing to it.

Anonymous said...

This morning, McClatchy announced that it is freezing its pension plans and temporarily suspending the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31. McClatchy also announced that it will cut an additional $100 to $110 million in expenses over the next 12 months. The press release is available at www.mcclatchy.com. McClatchy will send more detail on the retirement changes to you directly, both by e-mail and information mailed to your home.



Here at the Herald, we‘ve seen a steep loss in advertising revenue. Our advertising customers have had to cut back to deal with this recession. We in turn must respond by further expense reductions.



We are still developing our local plan. Unfortunately, additional cuts will include position eliminations. However, we also are exploring several other alternatives to limit the number of layoffs. We will share details with you just as soon as they are final.



We understand how disruptive it is to receive this announcement without more specific information. We also understand that today’s announcement is especially discouraging given all the cuts made in 2008. We had hoped that previous cuts would be sufficient to see us through the sharp revenue declines affecting our industry. Instead, we must continue to respond to the unprecedented and deepening financial crisis that is threatening not only our industry, but all kinds of businesses in almost every sector of the economy.



The decisions we now need to make are difficult, but we will act quickly, deliberately and with an eye toward the future. We are positioning this newspaper to compete and succeed in a demanding, competitive, more integrated media environment. We will remain our community’s most comprehensive source for news and advertising.



As in the past, we will work quickly to notify employees who may be affected by staff reductions. We still have work to do on these plans therefore, you may not hear more from us for at least a few weeks. Employees whose positions are eliminated will be provided with a transition package that will include severance pay and benefits continuation. We will do everything possible to make their transition as smooth as possible.



There’s no way we would be able to manage through today’s difficult environment without the talent, innovation and dedication of our staff. I know we’ve asked a lot of you in the past and are asking more from you today. I know we can continue to count on you. Thank you for all you do.

Glen Nardi, President/Publisher
The Bellingham Herald

exDemocrat said...

It just amazes me how the MSM will cut its own throat rather than report un-biased news.

Journalism 101: the truth sells.

Oh well, sucks to be them.

Anonymous said...

--Journalism 101: the truth sells.--

How deluded.
Advertisers pay the bills.

Anonymous said...

401k's are handled by a 3rd party correct? Former employees don't need to worry about rolling those over into a different account?

Anonymous said...

10:06... delusional? How about this, Ace. Customers are the reason advertisers pay the bills. I was a customer until I got sick of your left wing BS and Obama tongue bath reporting.

Journalism 101.... As a consumer I can live without you. However, you can not live without me.

Anonymous said...

Journalism 101: the truth sells.

”How deluded. Advertisers pay the bills.” (Useful Idiot)

Journalism 102: Insult half you audience with bias (non-truths) advertisers refuse to pay your bills

Anonymous said...

Modesto will have layoffs, don't know how many.

Anonymous said...

MEMO TO: All Employees
FROM: Orage Quarles III
DATE: February 5, 2009
SUBJECT: McClatchy Announcement


This morning, McClatchy announced that it is freezing its pension plans and
temporarily suspending the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective
March 31. McClatchy also announced that it will cut an additional $100 to
$110 million in expenses over the next 12 months. The press release is
available at www.mcclatchy.com. McClatchy will send more detail on the
retirement changes to you directly, both by email and information mailed to
your home.

Here at The News & Observer, we are still developing our plan to address
these expense cuts. Unfortunately, these cuts will include position
eliminations. However, we also are exploring several other alternatives to
limit the number of layoffs. We will share these details with you just as
soon as they are final.

We understand how disruptive it is to receive these announcements without
more specific information. We also understand that today's announcement is
especially discouraging given all the cuts made in 2008. We had hoped that
previous cuts would be sufficient to see us through the sharp revenue
declines affecting our industry. Unfortunately, we have seen an
unprecedented loss in advertising revenue with many of our retailers and
auto dealers either going out of business or leaving the area, and
employment advertising dropping to all time lows. Instead, we must continue
to respond to the deepening financial crisis that is threatening not only
our industry but all kinds of businesses in almost every sector of the
economy.

The decisions we now need to make are difficult, but we will act quickly,
deliberately and with an eye toward the future. We are positioning this
newspaper to compete and succeed in a demanding, competitive, more
integrated media environment. We will remain the community's most
comprehensive source of news and advertising.

As in the past, we will work quickly to notify employees who may be affected
by staff reductions. As we have just begun work on these plans now, you may
not hear more from us for at least a few weeks. Employees whose positions
are eliminated will be provided with a transition package that will include
severance pay and benefits continuation. We also will provide outplacement
services and do everything possible to make their transition as smooth as
possible.

There is no way The News & Observer would be able to manage through today's
difficult environment without the talent, innovation and dedication of our
staff. I know we have asked a lot of you in the past, and we are asking
more from you today. I hope we can continue to count on you. Thank you for
all you do.

Anonymous said...

http://www.fresnobee.com/updates/story/1179148.html

The cost-cutting will mean another round of job cuts at The Fresno Bee, newspaper Publisher and President William H. Fleet told employees in a memo today. The Bee cut 84 workers last year, ending 2008 with about 500 employees.

"We must continue to respond to the unprecedented and deepening financial crisis that is threatening not only our industry, but all kinds of businesses in almost every sector of the economy," he wrote. The Bee is still working on its cost-cutting plan, but hopes to minimize the number of layoffs through other expense cuts, Fleet wrote.

Anonymous said...

--- I was a customer until I got sick of your left wing BS and Obama tongue bath reporting.--

The .75 or whatever per issue barely covers the cost of the ink, paper and the carrier throwing it your yard, so it seems just a little naive to claim you're a customer of the paper. Funding editorial content is purely funded by advertisers-you so want the equation to be liberal bias=bankruptcy, but we really have the economic policies of george and his cronies to thank.

Anonymous said...

bellingham.

sweet. i love the form letter that was sent out. (insert your newspaper name here) and send to all

Anonymous said...

The .75 or whatever per issue barely covers the cost of the ink, paper and the carrier throwing it your yard, so it seems just a little naive to claim you're a customer of the paper.
---------
If CUSTOMERS do not buy the paper, then ADVERTISERS have absolutely no reason to buy space. Why is it you folks don't comprehend that before you go about the business of alienating half of your CUSTOMER base?

Are you all these days really that dense?

Anonymous said...

Overheard some big wigs discussing that McClatchy is in talks with a European company who can reconfigure pritning presses to process sausage.

Anonymous said...

Advertisers have abandoned newspapers because marketing alternatives offered effective results at less cost.

Newspapers have inflated or falsified their circulation numbers for decades, Advertisers knew about this ABC game, but had little choice for alternate marketing.

The monopoly was so strong that even gun stores would pay the open ad rate, in a paper that wanted to see gun stores closed. Politics don't outweigh the need for sales.

Just ask Wild Sports in Citrus Heights. A gun store that spent hundreds of thousands in Bee advertising over the years.

Once alternatives for marketing became effective, the newspaper's monopoly was broken. Big revenue sectors like employment classified, private automotive, and food stores dropped kicked the newspapers hold.

The burst of revenue in the early 2000's was driven by the housing boom.. and now that's gone for good.

There was a time when political campaigns would spend big in newspapers to get voters eyeballs.

How much the Dems or Republicans spent in newspaper ads this last election, compared to the 1980's?

What was the cost of an youtube poltical ad, compared to a full page ad in a major daily?

If newspapers are the semaphore of the liberal masses, why didn't the liberals pay those ad rates?

And what about the very Liberal Canadians, with their very Liberal, yet still dying, Newspapers?

According to the "drive away half the readers" augument -- the Canadian newspapers should see no reader revolt based on politics. Layoffs are abundant north of the border, just like the left coast of the U.S.

As much as We want the newspapers demise to be about politics; it's more about a myoptic view on a marketing monopoly. Marketing change was driven by technology, and the old boys just could not believe their monopoly could be broken.

Anonymous said...

Anchorage: Familiar refrain ... what a bunch of weasels

To: All Employees

From: J. Patrick Doyle

Subject: McClatchy Announcement

Date: Feb. 5, 2009

Here at the Anchorage Daily News, we have seen an unprecedented loss in advertising revenue, due to our local retailers and auto dealers being impacted by the weakening economy. In addition, employment-advertising losses continue to drop to all-time lows. These challenges are clearly driven by a deepening recession that is hurting our economy.

This morning, McClatchy announced that it is freezing its pension plans and temporarily suspending the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31. McClatchy also announced that it would cut an additional 100 to 110 million in expenses over the next 12 months. The press release is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.mcclatchy.com" www.mcclatchy.com. McClatchy will send more detail on the retirement changes to you directly, both by e-mail and information mailed to your home.

Here at the Anchorage Daily News, we are still developing our plan to address these expense cuts. Unfortunately, these cuts will include position eliminations. However, we also are exploring several other alternatives to limit the number of layoffs. We will share these details with you just as soon as they are final.

We understand how disruptive it is to receive these announcements without more specific information. We also understand that today’s announcement is especially discouraging given all the cuts made in 2008. We had hoped that previous cuts would be sufficient to see us through the sharp revenue declines affecting our industry. Instead, we must continue to respond to the unprecedented and deepening financial crisis that is threatening not only our industry, but all kinds of businesses in almost every sector of the economy.

The decisions we now need to make are difficult, but we will act quickly, deliberately and with an eye toward the future. We are positioning this newspaper to compete and succeed in a demanding, competitive, more integrated media environment. We will remain the community’s most comprehensive source of news and advertising.


As in the past, we will work quickly to notify employees who may be affected by staff reductions. As we have just begun work on these plans now, you may not hear more from us for at least a few weeks. Employees whose positions are eliminated will be provided with a transition package that will include severance pay and benefits continuation.  We also will provide outplacement services and do everything possible to make their transition as smooth as possible. 

There’s no way Anchorage Daily News would be able to manage through today’s difficult environment without the talent, innovation and dedication of our staff. I know we’ve asked a lot of you in the past and we are asking more from you today. I hope we can continue to count on you. Thank you for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Macon Telegraph Newspaper Cuts 30% of Workforce

The Telegraph in Macon reports that it will lay off 30-percent of its workforce. The McClatchy Newspaper chain, which owns the paper, says the 58 positions are in the production department. The Telegraph will now be printed in Columbus and driven to Macon for distribution. Columbus is the home of the McClatchy owned, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. News deadlines will be adjusted in order to get the paper delivered on time. Both papers are owned by the McClatchy Company. Nationwide McClatchy is trying to cut 100-million dollars in expenses. The cuts in Macon are expected to save the company 1-million dollars a year. The company is also freezing employees pension plans and contributions to 401k's.


http://gpbnews.blogspot.com/2009/02/telegraph-newspaper-in-macon-lays-off.html

nick said...

Matthew Dundon - Miller Tabak Roberts Securities

Thanks. Two related questions. The first is, what do you think you are doing right online and potentially what are other newspapers doing wrong? What do they have to learn from you? Secondly, we talked about auto dealerships and so forth; you say you do not have visibility. However, if you do not see the major trends, what are people telling their sales force about just the near-term? Aare you thinking about changing sales force headcount, outsourcing sales, doing anything to maybe shakeup the approach to advertising revenues instead of just waiting for the economy to raise all boats?

Gary Pruitt

Okay. Thank you. Well, first of all, I do not want to speak about other companies and their efforts online. I can speak to McClatchy. At McClatchy, we do recognize that our future is with a hybrid company, print and online, and we have more opportunity for growth online than we do in print.

So we have put a great deal of emphasis there in terms of training the sales force across the company, in terms of changing the incentive structure, in terms of allocating resources there, and in terms of partnerships with other internet companies. We have an ownership stake in cars.com. We own a quarter of that company in apartments.com, and our approximately 14% stake in CareerBuilder. So, we feel we have best of breed classified products.

Our Yahoo! partnership will help us especially in the online retail area. So, we feel that combination of focus and training, resources and partnerships has made a difference. Now, we are facing a stiff headwind in the employment category where so much of the advertising is tied to print, so we have seen declines there. With the recent declines in employment we will see more online weakness there as well. So, we will continue that emphasis online.

As far as the auto business goes, we expect it to continue to be permanently reduced in terms of numbers of dealerships. The Sacramento region has lost between 15 and 20 dealerships in the past year or so. So, that just really hammers our advertising.

Other markets are seeing similar declines in the number of dealerships. We think that is a permanent decline that we are suffering through right now and adjusting to. We are looking at adjusting our sales forces appropriately to the new advertising conditions. So the number of online sales people and especially the effectiveness of our sales force and selling online are improving. We have added a corporate sales staff to handle our largest customers for group buys at all of our papers.

We are looking at various shifts of resources among our sales force in emerging categories where we see more opportunities for growth and cutting in those categories where we are seeing what we think will be permanent reductions. So, it is a constant judgment call in terms of allocating resources.

In all of our cuts, we have generally maintained or improved our ad sales firepower because even in this downturn we understand the importance of just marginally improving our revenue performance. So, we have kept that in mind as we have made cuts throughout the company.

Anonymous said...

Raleigh was just told they would have to eliminate 20-30 more newsroom positions. Managers said they were "attempting" to get corporate to "allow" buyouts as opposed to lay-offs. But that had not been approved as yet. There will also be furlough's. For everyone...one week..sometime this quarter. All of this news was met with thunderous applause and champagne was passed around the disappearing newsroom. And, of course, to add to the joyful occasion it was announced we would "still give our readers the most comprehensive news coverage available". huh, okay, someone please explain to me how that works again? Fire most of the news staff (except of course for the much needed managers) but we will still produce a product everyone wants to read and buy ads for. After the meeting advertisers were lined up on the sidewalk stretching around the block in a bidding war to acquire ad space.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:31 Very well put.

Although I am still firmly in the "drive away half the readers" camp, your comments are very much on point, as is your reasoning.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

About the pension, a pp commented that you "can't move a pension." Not true.

I took the buyout last fall and I rolled over my pension into an IRA. You've just gotta be vested. Talk to a financial advisor about it. And while you're at it, roll over your 401K if you're not with the company anymore.

Anonymous said...

McClatchy pensions above a certain amount, very small amount, can not be moved and can only be paid out as an annuity over time depending on your service years and compensation. Some former McClatchy employees have pensions from other newspaper companies that have been rolled into the McClatchy plan and those can be paid out as lump sums, but anything EARNED while employed with McClatchy, except that small amount, can not. For the record if McClatchy declares bankrutcy most pensions are quaranteed by the Guarantee Pension Corporation, an agency of the federal government. However pensions are only quaranteed up to a certain amount, I believe something like $40k annully.

Anonymous said...

Well, anonymous 5:12 a.m., I'm not sure what your idea of a "very small amount" is, but I only worked for one McClatchy paper for 7 yrs, and I rolled my pension over into an IRA - it was about $7,200 - which is a good amount to me. I was given the option to take it in monthly payments, but chose the rollover instead.

Susan said...

Feb 5- 1:26- I'm going to laugh for days at your posting! I would take some of my severance and buy stock in the McClatchy Sausage Company!! Maybe they can open a Solent Green plant also...line up to be the first one in the door...