Thursday, March 19, 2009

Anchorage Daily News to lay off 47 employees, cut wages

The Anchorage Daily News announced Thursday it will lay off 47 employees and cut the wages of remaining workers. Here is the email sent to employees by Patrick Doyle:
From Anchorage:
To: All Employees
From: Patrick Doyle
Subject: Workforce and Wage Reductions
Date: Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last week, we told you that we were still developing our expense reduction plans and would finalize and communicate them to you as soon as possible.

Today, I want to share with you what those plans mean for the Anchorage Daily News. We are announcing plans to reduce our workforce by 47 positions. Although many of these job eliminations will occur through involuntary layoffs, there also will be opportunities for employees to voluntarily elect a severance package where reductions are occurring in work groups of two or more employees. If enough employees do not take the voluntary option, then the work groups will be reduced according to least tenure.

Reductions will occur in all areas of the operation. Employees affected by this reduction are being notified and provided with information about a transition package. We appreciate all that they have done for Anchorage Daily News and will do everything we can to make their transition as smooth as possible.

In addition, we are implementing wage reductions for all employees whose compensation exceeds $25,000 annually. Every employee will receive a letter detailing the impact of the wage reduction on their pay and will have the opportunity to ask questions. These wage reductions take effect on April 13, 2009.

These are difficult decisions, especially when it means saying goodbye to so many of our friends and colleagues. But we must make these additional cuts to ensure the viability of our newspaper and to adjust to these new competitive and economic realities.

There have been many questions about work furloughs. We are not planning furloughs for the first half of the year. However, we may revisit that option later in the year if financial conditions do not improve. We think it’s important you know it’s a possibility, and details will be provided if and when a decision has been made.

Again, I want to apologize for all of the disruption that you have experienced over the last several weeks. This is a very difficult time for all of us, and it will continue to be difficult as we all adapt to a new way of doing business. We can only respectfully ask, as we have in the past, that you keep your focus and continue to work hard to help our newspaper succeed.

Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions about the severance program or wage reductions. Thanks.

Jeez, looks like the same boilerplate email most other MNI employees got. Hat tip: comments. Photo credit: adn

To see info on other McClatchy layoffs go here.

UPDATE: Differing from the number in the email to employees, the ADN says 45 employees, not 47.
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22 comments:

Anonymous said...

The memo forgot to add, "ABANDON SHIP! ABANDON SHIP!"

McClatchy Watch said...

Heh

Videmus Omnia said...

I wonder if any of the layoffs are the Trig Truth Research Department?

McClatchy Watch said...

Videmus Omnia -- I think corporate wants to save that department.

Videmus Omnia said...

I think you're right - they'll lay off everyone else first. If the paper goes online-only, the last 3 people will be posting blog entries about Palin's children until the lights get turned off.

Anonymous said...

Second verse, same as the first.... These letters are so original for each paper.

Anonymous said...

Reductions will occur in all areas of the operation.

------------------------------------

Uh Huh...All except Editorial and Management.

gweb said...

Is there any silver lining? It seems the employees are left with very tough decisions. So unfortunate to see young blood go, so unfortunate to see tenured staff forced to take wage cuts in these times.

Can the Internet save ADN?

Anonymous said...

Laying off by tenure is shooting itself in the foot. The ADN should keep the digitally-talented youngsters and lop off the older loafers who have no desire to join the digital age of news. It saves a lot of salary money and eases the shift into online products. Newspapers never will get it in time to save themselves.

Anonymous said...

Where's da boss at? Leaving all of these tough decisions up to the employees will probably create layoffs. 401k brings back memories, how's your's doing? They need a boss who can steer this ship online. No doubt! Make a buzz, get hits, get advertising.

Anonymous said...

That's almost 20% of their staff.

I guess the rest will be used to stalk Sarah Palin's children.

Anonymous said...

1:22 pm hit the nail on the head. The ADN newsroom is full of old-school, complacent staffers who will still be there a month from now. Newspapers are killing themselves by blindly following the first-in-first-out policy. They should instead be retaining the employees most capable of helping them adapt to change in a new world, regardless of when those people were hired.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, make that LAST-in-first-out. I get emotional in the face of bad management.

Anonymous said...

Sacramento Bee pink slippers must be cleaning out their desks and finding extra photos. Todays edition had 3 different photos of The Messiah in the first four pages of section one. Last week I counted 10 photos of the "great one" in one entire edition, which was quite small.You gotta fill it with something I guess.

Anonymous said...

I have this vision of a bunch of middle aged middle managers taking jobs on Alaskan fishing boats hitting the Bearing sea for crabs.

Maybe even a TV series. Deadbeat Catch.

Denny, Alaska said...

Die, ADN; die!

"Society doesn't need newspapers. Society needs journalism. Big difference."

Anonymous said...

The ADN published the most ridiculous Gov. Palin rumors, and tried to make every rumor into a scandal. They insisted on the medical records of Gov. Palin, but were not interested in cigarette smoker Barry Soetoro’s lungs, that could very well be black. His doctor said he was okay, and not a question from the so-called journalists. The stalking of Gov. Palin was beyond absurd.

Later, Melanie Sill published the rumors in the Sacbee, and praised the ADN rumor reports as if they were award winning investigations. There is no place for this dishonest sort of journalism. Now at the lease, everyone can realize these phony awards passed among liars are as worthless as the made-up scandal stories.

Anonymous said...

At the time, Sill's boss was Howard Weaver of ADN fame. He loved to pimp his old paper. And now you know...the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

This is what we get for publishing a paper that twists every story in favor of some far left wing agenda that drives away our readers and advertisers. If pompous Pat and McClatchy keep pushing socialism and California lifestyles on Alaskans, the only people left reading will be a few Democrat party thugs.

Anonymous said...

Will you shave now Pat that you ran us into the ground? Or do you think your relentless anti-Palin hatred sold more papers? Thanks a lot for putting almost 50 people out of work due to your arrogant, close minded views that you printed on the front page as well as the editorial. Do the right thing and resign.

Anonymous said...

The ADN would be better if a 12 year old girl was editor than pompous Pat. I agree, he should resign today. But he won't because he has no concept of reality. Pat, please leave and take Zency with you.

Anonymous said...

i.e. ADN PHOTO

That nice tree that graces the front entrance is a memorial to an employee who was a casualty of the first ADN layoff. Lets pray they are more prepared this time around.