Gannett Mandates Round 2 of Furloughs

Staffers asked to sacrifice with no economic relief in sight

Beleaguered media company Gannett is mandating most employees take a second week of unpaid leave. In January, Chairman/President/CEO Craig Dubow informed staffers that most would be taking a week-long furlough in the first quarter to reduce payroll expenses. According to a memo issued yesterday, a second unpaid week shall be taken by most employees in the second quarter.

"Despite all of your truly remarkable efforts to reverse the trend, our revenue numbers continue their downward slide and we have been faced with more difficult decisions," Dubow said in the memo. "One of those choices was between more layoffs or another round of furloughs. We chose, for most employees, a furlough program consisting of at least one week of unpaid leave to be taken in April, May or June."

Dubow said the furlough length would differ by division, based on need. He also said higher salaried employees are asked to make "an additional sacrifice"-more days off or a salary cut. Dubow stressed that, as with the first round of furloughs, he and his executive colleagues would be partaking as well.

A few TV stations were exempt from the initial batch of furloughs because they'd instead sustained heavy layoffs or salary reductions.

Since Gannett's announcement in January, media companies such as Media General and Freedom Communications have also gone the furlough route to save money.