In my five-plus years as publisher in Merced, this is one of the toughest tasks I've ever had.
Because the Sun-Star and The McClatchy Co. are experiencing advertising revenue losses deeper than any of us has ever seen, and because the continuing economic climate remains so unstable, we must take several hard but unavoidable steps.
We have announced plans to reduce our work force by 10 positions, or about 10 percent of all employees working in our Merced operations. The reductions will occur in all areas of the operation. Those affected have been notified and provided with information about a transition package. We appreciate all that they have done for the Merced Sun-Star, Los Banos Enterprise and Chowchilla News. We will do everything we can to make their transition as smooth as possible.
In addition, we are implementing wage reductions for all employees, including senior management, whose compensation exceeds $25,000 a year. These wage reductions take effect April 13.
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. Economic conditions -- global, national and local -- are the worst in decades.
We are committed to Merced County and will continue to adapt as an information company to meet the needs of our advertisers and readers. I am convinced that the Sun-Star and our team of dedicated and loyal people will continue to provide you, our audience, with the highest-quality information and news that you need. We're all in this together. And we'll all come through it together.
Thank you for your support.
Hank Vander Veen,
For a list of other McClatchy layoffs, click here. (Hat tip: Twitter)