Employees with the Los Angeles Newspaper Group will have their wages cut starting this month, with the reductions first showing up in March paychecks. Senior managers will lose 10 percent of their salaries and most other staffers will experience a 5.5-percent cut, according to a Feb. 2 memo from LANG President Fred Hamilton. Employees making under $10 an hour are exempted.
LANG has already ordered furloughs and a vacation freeze for most employees. Hamilton says the wage reductions should be enough to avoid layoffs.
LANG comprises nine newspapers in Southern California and is part of the MediaNews Group chain.
*Update: A copy of Hamilton's memo is here.
In addition to being a morale sucker, the wage cut comes on top of a 10-day unpaid furlough, which is also a wage cut in disguise. When you add how much employees will lose from the furlough to the 5.5-percent cut announced today, it equals almost 9.5 percent in lost wages. And that comes after years of stagnant salaries and shrinking newsrooms, which force reporters and editors to do more work just to keep up.