The publisher of the Idaho Statesman announced Monday the paper will lay off 25 employees and implement wage cuts. Here is the email from the publisher:
To: All Employees
From: Mi-Ai Parrish
Date: Monday, March 16, 2008
Subject: Expense reductions
Last week, we told you that we were still developing our expense reduction plans and would tell you about them as soon as possible.
Today, we want to share with you what those plans mean for all of us.
The deepening economic downturn and its negative impact on our revenues require painful, but essential steps to reduce expenses aggressively. As we scoured to find savings, we kept our focus on keeping the newspaper safe, adjusting to new competitive and economic realities, preserving our ability to rebound with the economy, and limiting layoffs.
This plan does call for a 10 percent reduction in our workforce, or 25 positions, and salary reduction for employees who remain with the company.
Where positions are being eliminated, affected employees will be notified over the next two days. Some reductions will be involuntary. Others will provide an opportunity for employees to volunteer to take 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 positions with the least tenure will be eliminated.
The wage reduction will affect employees whose salary exceeds $25,000 annually (including part-time employees whose salaries meet that level when calculated as if they were full-time).
We have opted for a tiered plan: 3 percent for employees who earn between $25,000 and $49,999, 6 percent for employees who earn between $50,000 and $99,999, 10 percent for employees who earn $100,000 or more. Every employee will receive a letter detailing the impact of the wage reduction.
We also have eliminated all annual bonuses.
Furloughs are a possibility. At this time, we are not planning any for the first half of the year. However, we may revisit that option if financial conditions do not improve.
Other savings include everything from better ink contracts to lighter newsprint, from savings from our press project to our redesign, from cutting daily redelivery of newspapers to dropping dues for industry organizations, from reducing the number of free Scene copies to eliminating low-selling single copy racks. These large and smaller expense cuts saved the equivalent of 99 jobs.
We know this has been a difficult time for all of you, knowing that expense cuts were coming, but not knowing the details. And it was particularly difficult coming as it did while we were launching our new paper, with all the extra work required.
Your ability to focus to accomplish a successful launch of a redesigned paper, at a different size, printed at a different location, despite unexpected complications from late press runs and mechanical issues, has truly been inspiring.
You all should take great pride in your ability to produce a new paper that better serves our readers and advertisers. You took the more difficult path – finding ways to save expenses at the same time as creating a better, more innovative product that required changes in how we do business all across this company.
That ability to change, to create and innovate, to focus and work intensely gives me great confidence in our ability to weather this storm and thrive in the future.
Hat tip: comments. Photo credit: mcclatchy.com.
To see the list of other McClatchy layoffs, click here.