Jan 15, 2009

LANG to suspend raises for 2009

Jim Janiga, head of human resources for MediaNews in California, sent LANG employees a letter dated Jan. 14 informing them that all merit raises will be suspended in 2009. Janiga also asks employees to suggest other ways to cut costs and says unpaid furloughs and additional layoffs are on the table.

From the memo:
Suspending merit increases will not reduce our current expenses but it does help us contain our expenses for a period of time. So obviously more needs to be considered and implemented, if warranted. To this end we are asking everyone to share with us any suggestions you might have regarding cuts in our operating expenses that are measurable, timely and sensible; cuts that can help us avoid more layoffs and are cuts you may be willing to accept. We need your input.

Unfortunately we cannot promise there will not be layoffs in the future but we should always endeavor to do what we can to prevent as many as possible. Obviously, growing revenue is our best option but until revenue streams stabilize and grow, reducing our expenses will continue to be a painful but necessary focus. Some early suggestions have included mandatory furloughs, cuts in our vacation benefits, pay cuts (temporary and/or permanent), reduced work schedules, allowing volunteer reduction in hours while retaining most full-time benefits, and more.
Read the full memo here.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

What merit raises?

Anonymous said...

Here's a suggestion for you:

FIRE ALL THE SUITS. THEY DO NOTHING BUT TAKE MUCH NEEDED REVENUE FROM THOSE WHO ACTUALLY WORK. KEEP ONLY THOSE THAT ACTUALLY PRODUCE SOMETHING. ONLY EDITORS DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH THE WRITERS, PHOTOGS, AND THOSE THAT PUT THE PAPER TOGETHER AND THAT'S IT.

IN SHORT: FIRE THOSE THAT PRODUCE NOTHING, EVEN MOST EDITORS DO NOTHING AND KNOW NOTHING.

ALL THE SUITS MAKE MORE THAN TWICE WHAT EACH PRODUCING EMPLOYEE MAKES, SO YOU'D BE SAVING TWO JOBS EACH TIME YOU FIRE ONE SUIT.

ALL EMPLOYEES GIVE A "NO CONFIDENCE" VOTE TO ALL OF YOU DIRECTING THIS TITANIC INTO ALL THOSE ICEBERGS. ALL OF YOU CANT BE GONE SOON ENOUGH.

IF YOU CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET THIS BOAT INTO SAFE WATERS, HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF SELF RESPECT AND ADMIT YOU SUITS CANT DO ANYTHING RIGHT AND LEAVE. STOP DRAINING THOSE EMPLOYEES THAT WORK SO HARD DAY IN AND DAY OUT TO KEEP YOUR SALARIES. GIVE THOSE SALARIES BACK NOW.

Anonymous said...

All of the items that Janiga mentions were discussed and put on the table 18 months or so ago. They were put on the table to avoid additional layoffs and they were never acted on.

Now, they seem to have taken on a new life, but instead of being proactive they are reactive to a much worse economic storm and much worse leadership within the company. When will they ever learn?

Anonymous said...

Here is what we're willing to accept.

All the dept. heads resignation.

All the cancer that is keeping our publication from growing must be excised, so fire all those dept heads who are not doing their part to improve these papers, which is all of them.

Anonymous said...

You know, this isn't the first time they've suspended merit raises, either. They did it Ontario way back. Then, when they were reinstituted, they forgot to keep up with everyone. I went nearly 3 years without a review or merit raise (2 years or so longer than everyone else). When I finally pressed the issue, it was like I caught them with their pants down in a motel room with a hooker.

Anonymous said...

you would have felt better and cleaner with a hooker in a hotel than with them.

Anonymous said...

When you work at and for a company no matter what industry the tone is set at the top.

No one is that pollyannish that they believe good times will always be the norm. People do not mind tough, fair, well communicated decisions.

I must say, the top at this organization on down must have been asleep during basic management 101. I have never seen blunder after blunder followed by blunder after blunder especially in a communication industry.

I have worked for leaders who have inspired me and my coworkers to great heights because of their leadership, their trust, and their communication style.

It is to bad that there does not appear to be anyone at LANG/Medianews who can and does inspire their employees.

Anonymous said...

What's next? Are they gonna start charging people to work there now? This is utterly pathetic.

Anonymous said...

THE FISH STINKS FROM THE HEAD!

Anonymous said...

For the first time, I am starting to feel hopeful about the future at LANG.

Instead of resorting to monthly layoffs, the Janiga memo points us toward more efficient practices, holding the line on salary costs, and collaboration among employees to keep expenses in line.

This is good news!

Although I can't be too hopeful that raises will be reinstated anytime soon, I certainly think the salary freeze is a positive step.

Anonymous said...

"For the first time, I am starting to feel hopeful about the future at LANG.

Instead of resorting to monthly layoffs, the Janiga memo points us toward more efficient practices, holding the line on salary costs, and collaboration among employees to keep expenses in line.

This is good news!"

To the above poster, nothing personal but you ARE naive. Along with salary/position freezes, unpaid furloughs, cuts in vacation time, doubling and tripling of job duties, cleaning the restrooms and taking out the trash... will COME MORE LAYOFFS.

Factor in a poor economy, newspaper revenue slump, top-mangement group hugs in Denver, directionless leadership and LANG's unfettered cannabalistic appetite for eating its own, and no one is safe.

Point: You can agree to all the cuts and at the end of the day, chances are solid the doors will close on another layoff.

I wish it were good news. I hope to God we can come out of this financial tailspin. I wish I had some great ideas to offer. But I don't. I just don't want you falling into the trap of thinking the company is showing an ounce of sincerety or a shred of mercy. Look around. You are the duck and that sound you hear is LANG chambering another round.

Sorry for sounding so pessimistic, but I've seen too many good people kicked to the curb by some Hearstlike god figure with an appetite to devour everything in sight.

Anonymous said...

That letter is so pathetic it makes me laugh. Do us all a favour and close the doors tomorrow because this is where it is going anyway. You bled these local institutions to the ground for your benefit and now you want us to show you, to tell you, to come up with ideas on how to bleed us some more. Congratulations for being the most incompetent people in the world. You've accomplish to ruin multiple businesses and many many lives with your greed and unwillingness to accept the reality that you could not even make a lemonade stand profitable.

Anonymous said...

unwillingness to accept the reality that you could not even make a lemonade stand profitable.

Oh, they were plenty profitable. Just not for you or me, and not for the long term. But they've already bled enough money out of these properties to come out ahead on the deal. Don't expect to see much in the way of regret, except perhaps regret that the free ride couldn't have lasted longer.

Anonymous said...

geez, maybe the answer is to have old dean on another newspaper panel explaining and pontificating. That should be the ticjet, yeah!

Newshound said...

Don't blame the people who hope desperately to see good in a bad situation and don't blame upbeat employees for "drinking the Kool-Aid."

If they've been at those papers since before Singleton acquired them, they never asked to work for Dean Singleton.

They were just doing their job as best they could when the paper was sold out from under them.

You have to try and make the best of your life; it's all you've got.

Jay said...

It's all Frank Pine's fault

Anonymous said...

Who is in charge of advertising revenue at LANG? The Pep Boys or the Three Stooges?

V. Nuys Mendenhall IV said...

Hearing the suspended raises will be retroactive?

Anonymous said...

Frank Pine is Joe Pyne's son.

Anonymous said...

All the contracts signed guaranteeing jobs means squat when they file for chapter 11 or liquidate...and it is not far away.

Anonymous said...

This wasn't such a shock to me (a LANG reporter).

I was told MONTHS ago that I wouldn't be getting a raise this year. Plus, when we can't take vacations anyway, what's the use in accruing time?