Layoffs and Furloughs at Star-Telegram

I saw this on Poynter. After clutching my knees to my chest and rocking back and forth for a few minutes, I cut and pasted the memo to staff from Publisher Gary Wortel:

To All Employees

While we are seeing local economic conditions improve, some of our business sectors continue to grow at a slower than anticipated rate.

This challenge means we must look at additional cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in our workforce. Some single incumbent positions will be eliminated and several positions that are currently open will not be replaced. Work groups in several operations and circulation departments will be offered a voluntary separation package today. If enough employees do not take the voluntary option, the positions will be eliminated through the least-tenured employees in those work groups.

We are also announcing a furlough program to begin February 11 and end July 31. Employees required to take this one week of unpaid furlough will receive the furlough form today. Please complete your form as soon as possible and give to your supervisor for approval.

Any questions regarding the voluntary/involuntary or the furlough program may be directed to your department manager, Darla Sullenger or Matt Byars in Human Resources.

We know these staffing reductions are difficult and unsettling. I’m optimistic that 2013 will bring the improvement we need in our business sectors to gain positive momentum. The executive team and I appreciate your strong commitment to the Star-Telegram.

But, hey! Look on the bright side. A bunch of employees will get to take a week of vacation sometime between nowish and this summer.