Bookstaver found a unique way to say five people were being fired. "We will have about five positions that are filled, which we will eliminate over the next two weeks." In addition to those five, 11 positions that are currently open will not be filled," Bookstaver said.
The publisher also outlined the severance and benefits that the fired employees will receive:
Severance benefits will be provided to the employees who are laid off and the benefits will include one week of pay for each year of service with a maximum of 52 weeks and a minimum of two weeks. Medical benefits will continue for the length of the severance period. Based on employee preference employees may begin receiving their pension or 401(k) benefits. The displaced employees may also receive other government benefits after severance expires.
Bookstaver said there are no plans for further elimination of staff, "but future changes in expense will be contingent on
changes in revenue." Translated into English, he means the newspaper has to make more money.
According to Bloomberg.com:
Gannett management told individual community newspapers to bring costs in line with revenue, and advised that would likely involve some firings, Connell said. The company operates 85 daily newspapers, including USA Today, and owns almost 900 non- daily publications. It also has 23 U.S. television stations. The company's Newsquest unit in the U.K. publishes 17 dailies and 300 weeklies, magazines and trade journals.
In July, Gannett said second-quarter TV-station revenue declined 5.9 percent and newspaper advertising dropped 14 percent in the U.S. and the U.K. Gannett wrote down the value of its publishing and broadcast assets by $2.5 billion, resulting in a net loss of $2.29 billion, or $10.03 a share, according to an Aug. 1 regulatory filing.