Tribune trimming salaries, staff


The Tribune Company has unveiled across-the-board pay cuts, salary freezes and plans to reduce staff through attrition.

Tribune announced several cost-cutting moves on Wednesday, including a 5% salary reduction for 140 senior managers, effective January 1, 2002. Simultaneously, salaries of all Tribune employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement will be frozen for a year. But those employees will be eligible for a one-time grant of Tribune stock options based on merit.

Tribune said it also will be seeking compensation cost
savings from union-represented groups.

Tribune's broadcasting and entertainment group revenues fell 4% to $106 million, down from $110 million in October 2000. Television revenues dropped 6% in October due to the continued soft TV ad market. Year-to-date group revenues also were down 6% to $1.1 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in 2000.

Hiring is being limited to "critical functions" as Tribune seeks to reduce staff through attrition.

"We will cut costs and also put greater emphasis on our ad
sales efforts," Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune president and COO, said in a prepared statement. "Most importantly, we will not compromise the quality of journalism that we have always delivered to our readers, listeners and viewers."
- Richard Tedesco