Mar 23, 2009

The furloughs fly at Newhouse papers*

Citing "unprecedent challenges," the Newhouse chain has implemented 10-day, unpaid furloughs and a pension freeze at some or all of its newspapers. Editor & Publisher reports:
Word of the furloughs began to spread last week, but formal announcements were going out today at most of the company's Newhouse Newspapers, including The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.; The Plain Dealer in Cleveland; The Oregonian in Portland; The Times-Picayune in New Orleans; and The Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance, as well as the chain's dailies in Syracuse, N.Y.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Harrisburg, Pa.

"Most of our papers will have two measures," [Chairman Steve] Newhouse said. "One is a freeze of our defined benefit plan, or pension, that will be paired with an increase in our 401 (k) match. The other is a mandatory 10-day furlough, unpaid furlough."
A few Michigan papers will be consolidated - some going to three days a week - and unspecified salary cuts are planned in Cleveland and Portland, E&P adds. I'm also told part-time staffers at the Oregonian are being left off the work schedule; I'm not sure if that's happening elsewhere.

*Updated: Newhouse will shutter the Ann Arbor News and replace it with a web-based paper and social networking site. (via Romenesko)

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