(Thanks to the FBvian who posted this in comments. It’s worth moving upfront.) The memo follows after the jump:
Please read the document below. If you are interested, the senior management team and I will be available to answer questions today at4:00 pm in the downtown 4th floor conference area located next to the 6th St. elevator.
To: All Employees
From: Gary Wortel
Subject: McClatchy Announcement
Date: Feb. 5, 2009
This morning, McClatchy announced that it is freezing its pension plans and temporarily suspending the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31. McClatchy also announced that it will cut an additional $100 million to $110 million or approximately 7% of 2008 cash expenses over the next 12 months, beginning later in the first quarter of 2009. The press release is available at http://www.mcclatchy.com. McClatchy will send more detail on the retirement changes to you directly, both by e-mail and information mailed to your home.
Here at the Star-Telegram we have seen an unprecedented loss in advertising revenue with many of our best customers either going out of business or closing locations, and employment advertising dropping to all time lows. In response to these losses we are developing plans to reduce expenses. Unfortunately, these cuts will include position eliminations.
We have also determined we will be outsourcing some of our Finance functions to Infosys, a global consulting firm. The transition process will begin on Monday, February 16th, and should be completed by the end of June. We will be completing the transition to APAC, our customer service vendor in the next 60 days. We also are exploring several other alternatives to limit the number of layoffs. We will share these details with you just as soon as they are final.
We understand how disruptive it is to receive these announcements without more specific information. We also understand that today’s announcement is especially discouraging given all the cuts made in 2008. We had hoped that previous cuts would be sufficient to see us through the sharp revenue declines affecting our industry. Instead, we must continue to respond to the unprecedented and deepening financial crisis that is threatening not only our industry, but all kinds of businesses in almost every sector of the economy.
The decisions we now need to make are difficult, but we will act quickly, deliberately and with an eye toward the future. We are positioning this newspaper to compete and succeed in a demanding, competitive, more integrated media environment. We will remain the community’s most comprehensive source of news and advertising.
As in the past, we will work quickly to notify employees who may be affected by staff reductions. As we have just begun work on these plans now, you may not hear more from us for at least a few weeks. Employees whose positions are eliminated will be provided with a transition package that will include severance pay and benefits continuation. We also will provide outplacement services and do everything possible to make their transition as smooth as possible.
There’s no way The Star-Telegram would be able to manage through today’s difficult environment without the talent, innovation and dedication of our staff. I know we’ve asked a lot of you in the past and we are asking more from you today. I hope we can continue to count on you. Thank you for all you do.
President & Publisher