Gannett to Lay Off 700 Employees

Gannett Blog published a corporate memo sent to more than 20,000 Gannett employees today to announce the newspaper company plans to layoff 700 workers this year:

While we have sought many ways to reduce costs, I regret to tell you that we will not be able to avoid layoffs. Accordingly, approximately 700 employees within USCP, or about 2% of our company’s overall workforce, will be let go. Publishers will notify people today and we will make every effort to reach everyone by end of day. It is important to note that these decisions do not reflect individual performance and we thank and respect those employees for their work. We will do everything we can to help them and to minimize the impact on our other employees going forward. In an effort to reduce the number of people being let go, there will be furloughs in the coming months but they will be limited only to those on the USCP corporate payroll who make over a certain salary. You will be notified by your publisher if you are among this group.

The blog describes this as the biggest layoff since 2009, when the company eliminated 1,400 jobs.

Gannett Blog:

Today's cuts came after many newspaper workers took one-week unpaid furloughs during the current quarter; virtually all took a furlough in the first quarter. And they come three months after GCI disclosed that Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow got paid $9.4 million last year — twice what he earned in 2009. Other senior executives also got huge raises, company documents show.

Dubow's pay included a $1.75 million cash bonus, based partly on his success in reducing costs through layoffs, furloughs and other austerity measures. Bonuses awarded other executives were also calculated according to that same formula.