Monday, March 9, 2009

The News Tribune publisher tells employees that cuts will be announced "in the next week or so" (updated -- other papers sending out identical email!)

Publisher David Zeeck sent this email to employees at The News Tribune this morning:

On Feb. 5, McClatchy announced plans to further reduce operating expenses as a result of the ongoing and unprecedented economic pressures and revenue declines. Today, McClatchy released additional information about these expense reductions. The press release is available on McClatchy’s corporate website.

Here at The News Tribune, we are experiencing advertising losses greater than any of us have ever seen in our history. As the economy declines, so do our revenues. We are still developing expense reduction plans to offset these losses, but the plans aren’t quite final. We understand how disruptive the last several weeks have been and how announcements by other McClatchy newspapers increase concerns about the future. We apologize for the delay, but want to make sure we carefully review every option before making final decisions. We anticipate communicating these decisions to you in the next week or so.

Our future success is dependent on the hard work you do every day. We know these repeated announcements and ongoing restructuring are difficult and disruptive, but we respectfully ask for your continued focus, even in these difficult circumstances.

Please contact your department manager or human resources if you have any questions.

An almost-identical email was sent to employees at The Olympian. Interesting coordination there.

UPDATE: Employees at The News & Observer got an identical email from their publisher.

UPDATE #2: And the Lexington Herald-Leader, too. Something is wrong when a communications company sends out form emails to employees.

UPDATE #3: Ditto Modesto Bee.

UPDATE #4: Add Anchorage Daily News to the list. According to a reader, the publisher signed the letter as if he wrote it.
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Hat tip: comments
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27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Identical e-mails again. How sad!

Anonymous said...

Aside from the name of the paper, this note is verbatim to the one Raleigh publisher Orage Quarles sent out this morning:

MEMO TO: All Employees

FROM: Orage Quarles III

DATE: March 9, 2009

SUBJECT: Expense Reductions


On February 5, McClatchy announced plans to further reduce operating expenses as a result of the ongoing and unprecedented economic pressures and revenue declines. Today, McClatchy released additional information about these expense reductions. The press release is available on McClatchy's corporate website.

Here at The News & Observer, we are experiencing advertising losses greater than any of us have ever seen in our history. As the economy declines, so do our revenues. We are still developing expense reduction plans to offset these losses, but the plans are not quite final. We understand how disruptive the last several weeks have been and how announcements by other McClatchy papers increase concerns about the future. We apologize for the delay but want to make sure we carefully review every option before making final decisions. We anticipate communicating these decisions to you over the next couple of weeks.

Our future success is dependent on the hard work you do every day. We know these repeated announcements and ongoing restructuring are difficult and disruptive, but we respectfully ask for your continued focus, even in these difficult circumstances.

Please contact your department manager or human resources if you have any questions.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the inability to learn from past mistakes has contributed at all the situation the company is in now?

Nah! It's just the economy.

Anonymous said...

Ditto for Bradenton, no news until next week.

Anonymous said...

When an organization sends out a form letter, it is because they are more interested in controlling information than providing it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, and here I was actually proud of our publisher in Lexington for finally giving us an update. Back to being a little let down I guess.

Anonymous said...

It's official: The KC Star sent out their memo:

http://willnotbetelevised.com/tv/2009/03/09/theres-a-lot-of-water-about/

Anonymous said...

Part of the reason Tacoma and Olympia are coordinating e-mails/dates/etc. is because they will be merging copy desks ... at least in the news/features/etc. departments.

Anonymous said...

same in anchorage, only signed by the publisher as if it was original work. apparently none of them have heard of this strange beast called the "internet."

Anonymous said...

Here in the South - we would call that tacky.

Anonymous said...

It is an HR/Legal thing...

Anonymous said...

Alright already..... so we've been able to deduce that essentially McClatchy Corporate put out the letter for each paper to send to their respective employees. Is that SO shocking that it deserves such thorough examination and comment? What's next... vilifying them for their selection of font used? All this prattle would have been avoided if the letter had gone out with McClatchys logo at the top and Pruitt's signature at the bottom. BIG DEAL... with all that's going on... with so many good people losing their livelihoods... you'd think more energy could be expended commenting on something a little more substantive than this.

Anonymous said...

with all that's going on... with so many good people losing their livelihoods... you'd think more energy could be expended commenting on something a little more substantive complaining about what other people are posting about.

Anonymous said...

Looks like The (Columbia) State has started their layoffs. No official word from management as of yet, a couple people have been called to HR. How many, as of yet, unknown.

Anonymous said...

2:16 Ah the sheep speak. The see no, hear no, and eat me last school of accommodation, appeasement and apology.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I prefer it when the company sends the same letter out at all the papers. There's enough paranoia and confusion out here at the papers already, without people having to pick at every little nuance and individual word choice to see what he or she might have meant. If they're all using the same form letter, with maybe just a little localization, then I think the message is more clear.

I appreciate the information on this blog. I just wish everyone would stop trying to pick everything apart.

Anonymous said...

The same letter was issued at the Miami Herald today. It would be nice if this letter had been credited to corporate instead of the publisher.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't McClatchy just close the Miami Herald, it's biggest, most costly paper, and give the rest of us a fighting chance to succeed?

Anonymous said...

Close it.....they can't comprehend the concept.

Make money off the building and land and hide the business in a local (cheaper) suburb to still get the most financial dollars out of it's continued cheaper operation...perhaps.

You forget nobody wants the properties anywhere for whatever they are asking for them!

Greed is driving the pricing of all the properties MNI has put up for sale and they don't know in today's economy, no potential buyers are stupid!

Anonymous said...

with so many good people losing their livelihoods... you'd think more energy could be expended commenting on something a little more substantive than this.




By goodness you're absolutely right. We should be concentrating on all the slimes and losers who were instrumental in destroying pubic trust in Journalism.

The problem with that is...we don't yet know if the cuts have been deep enough to reach these people, so, until then, disingenuous, amateur, self serving and callous tactics such as form letters with a stamp of approval by salesmen pretending to be publishers is the order of the day. Get over it. It was tacky at best, dishonest at least, and pure McClatchy for real.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is...
We know as much after "the chain e-mail" as we did before which is NOTHING CONCRETE

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:03 Smile!

Anonymous said...

HEY LEXINGTON, fire your useless circ vp and save the company a LOT of money and eliminate a lot of hot air in the building. nelson fonticella, what a joke.

Anonymous said...

"Why doesn't McClatchy just close the Miami Herald, it's biggest...... "

I don't understand the FUD about Miami losing money. It doesn't lose money. Both newspapers, the website, and numerous special pubs make lots of money even now.

Anonymous said...

The Fresno Bee

William H. Fleet

Publisher and President

To: All Employees

Subject: Expense Reductions

Date: March 9, 2009


On Feb. 5, McClatchy announced plans to further reduce operating expenses as a result of the ongoing and unprecedented economic pressures and revenue declines. Today, McClatchy released additional information about these expense reductions. The press release is available on McClatchy╩╝s corporate website.


Here at The Fresno Bee, we are experiencing advertising losses greater than any of us have ever seen. As the economy declines, so do our revenues. We are still finalizing expense reduction plans to offset these losses, and we expect to communicate these decisions to you by the end of this week. We understand how disruptive the last several weeks have been and how announcements by other McClatchy papers increase concerns about the future. We apologize for the delay but want to make sure we carefully review every option before making final decisions.


Our future success is dependent on the hard work you do every day. We know these repeated announcements and ongoing restructuring are difficult and disruptive, but we respectfully ask for your continued focus, even in these unusually challenging circumstances.


Please contact your department manager or human resources if you have any questions.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the FUD about Miami losing money. It doesn't lose money.


Yes it does lose money. The publishers put that garbage about being profitable out to boost morale and hope to point fingers elsewhere.

The fact is, even with creative accounting, net income being larger than liabilities does not equal profitability. Miami is part of a corporation that is bleeding massive amounts of money and Miami does not bring in enough money to even begin to contribute to paying down the McClatchy debt.

Closing it down saves more money than the cost of operating it, and makes the property more attractive to sellers.

Anonymous said...

news flash-- the biloxi ms sunherald will be booting people out the door on monday the 16th march--stop the presses!! wait a minute,thats my job,or maybe not come the 16th.