To: All EmployeesVia email
From: Tim Kelly
Subject: McClatchy Announcement
Date: Feb. 5, 2009
This morning, McClatchy announced that it is freezing its pension plans and temporarily suspending the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31. McClatchy also announced that it will reduce costs by an additional $100 million to $110 million, or approximately seven percent of 2008 cash expenses, over the next 12 months. The press release is available at www.mcclatchy.com <" target="_blank">http://www.mcclatchy.com/>; . McClatchy will send more detail on the retirement changes to you directly, both by e-mail and information mailed to your home.
Here at the Herald-Leader, we are still developing our plan to address these expense cuts. Unfortunately, these cuts will include position eliminations. However, we also are exploring numerous other alternatives to limit the number of layoffs. We will share these details with you just as soon as they are final.
We understand how disruptive it is to receive these announcements without more specific information. We also understand that todayʼs announcement is especially discouraging given all the cuts made in 2008. We had hoped that previous cuts would be sufficient to see us through the sharp revenue declines affecting our industry. Instead, we must continue to respond to the unprecedented and deepening financial crisis that is threatening not only our industry, but all kinds of businesses in almost every sector of the economy.
In Lexington, we have seen an unprecedented decline in advertising revenue with a number of retailers and auto dealers going out of business and others substantially reducing spending. In addition, employment advertising continues to drop to all-time lows and real estate remains weak. Those challenges are clearly driven by a deepening recession that is hurting our local economy.
The decisions we now need to make are difficult, but we will act quickly, deliberately and with an eye toward the future. We are positioning this newspaper to compete and succeed in a demanding, competitive, more integrated media environment. We will remain the communityʼs most comprehensive source of news and advertising.
As in the past, we will work quickly to notify employees who may be affected by staff reductions. As we have just begun work on these plans, you may not hear more from us for at least a few weeks. Employees whose positions are eliminated will be provided with a transition package that will include severance pay and benefits continuation. We also will provide outplacement services and do everything possible to make their transition as smooth as possible.
Thereʼs no way the Herald-Leader would be able to manage through todayʼs difficult environment without the talent, innovation and dedication of our staff. I know weʼve asked a lot of you in the past and we are asking more from you today. I hope we can continue to count on you. Thank you for all you do.
From comments: letter from Mark Zieman at the KC Star -- it's the same form letter sent to all papers! Jeez.