"Good afternoon everyone,
By now many of you have probably heard the rumors or read the hateful, angry comments regarding The Modesto Bee and The McClatchy Company. The claim that bothers me the most, and one I want to respond to directly, is whether The Modesto Bee is going to shut down. I can answer that very simply - no. There is also considerable speculation about when layoff announcements will be made - those notifications will happen next week.
There are those who enjoy seeing us fail. They don't care about The Bee, your family, or our community. The challenges we face are a result of forces larger than our company, our city, our state or our nation. Even in the face of such adversity, I believe we will survive and ultimately thrive.
As we proceed through this year we will be a smaller company. I would challenge you to view this time in our history as I do - our chance to take the resources we have and create the model 21st century media company.
As part of that process we will be critically reviewing all facets of our operation - everything we produce, every process we have, every procedure we use - giving emphasis to those that work and eliminating those that don't. I will call upon everyone's creativity, passion and skill to find the best solutions for every problem.
If you were to believe our critics, you might think we are doing everything wrong. I however, disagree. So, what have we done right? Of the many things, two recent examples come to mind.
First, The McClatchy Company recently named Garth Stapley as a recipient of a President's Award for his research and reporting of the 'Framing our Future' series published last year. The stories were striking in their originality, and took a complex issue - managed growth of valley communities - and presented it in a very understandable way. In this year-long research endeavor, Garth had cooperation from colleagues throughout the building - all of whom made it a team-effort and a great piece of community-oriented journalism.
Second, at the center of our printed product business is our circulation. The accurate reporting of every paper delivered is crucial across our entire enterprise. Each year we undergo an extensive audit by the Audit Bureau of Circulations - our audit for the 2008 year just wrapped up last week. I am pleased to share that we passed the audit with flying colors and that no adjustments or corrections were required. Congratulations and thanks go to Tracy Prachittham in Finance for her ongoing and fastidious management of our circulation accounting.
I appreciate your creativity, your passion, your skill, and everything you do for The Bee."
I have my own thoughts but thought I'd throw it out there to see what you think.Leave your answer in comments.