Employees in the Los Angeles Newspaper Group's nine papers learned today that they will be once again lose vacation time and be forced to take unpaid furloughs days as part of an effort to cut costs.
Fred Hamilton, CEO and publisher of LANG, sent a memo today outlining the details. The vacation freeze starts today and will last until March 2011. For employees who earn two weeks of vacation a year, the freeze will cost them 3 days of vacation. It's 6 days for those earning four weeks per year.
The furloughs begin in January. Employees will be forced to take ten days off by mid March. Furlough days are unpaid unless employees choose to use up vacation time - a tough choice considering the freeze.
Hamilton blames lower than expected advertising revenues for the cuts. The memo does not mention layoffs, although Hamilton said some vacancies will remain unfilled and he alluded to consolidations, which could refer to a recent decision to merge the business departments of LANG and its sister chain in the north, the Bay Area News Group - some say the merger could result in the loss of 40 jobs. Hamilton ends the memo by saying said he regrets taking these actions, but warns of more drastic cuts if ad sales do not improve.