Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Citizen Layoffs Memo

Posted By on Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 12:51 PM

This is what Jennifer Boice, acting head honcho at the Citizen, sent to the Citizen staff with the subject "We're done with the cuts":

I just wanted to let you all know that we have completed the cuts in the newsroom.

They are in line with Gannett's goal of a 10 percent cut in personnel costs for 2009. We had some open positions, people who cut hours voluntarily, one who accepted the severance, and a few people who had their hours trimmed involuntarily. Two people were laid off.

TNI also utilized restructuring, open positions and voluntary cutbacks effectively, which means the number laid off these also was less than expected: fewer than 10.

As part of the cost reduction, I have frozen everyone's salaries for a year. That decision, which minimized the number of people to be laid off, affects every employee here. TNI decided not to go that route, so Citizen employees are the only ones affected.

Gannett's goal was to position itself to meet the weak economy straight on. Its projections for newspapers' performance next year is pessimistically realistic, to my mind. Unless things go seriously south, we likely aren't looking at more cuts any time soon. I hope.

This has been a difficult time for everyone­ uncertainty is a killer. However, I hope we now can focus our full attention on creating a terrific newspaper and killer Web site.

Jennifer

In answer to some questions I have received, the opportunity for flexible hours continues. There is a form you can fill out at any time. Just make sure your editor is in the loop and can work with your proposal.

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