Stop me if you have heard this before. A newspaper publishing company awards its top officials hefty bonuses at the same time it is sending long-time, loyal employees packing.
Recently, The Turner Report noted that Gannett, owner of the Springfield News-Leader, awarded bonuses at the same time it was requiring its employees to take week-long unpaid furloughs.
GateHouse Media awarded more than $1.3 million at the same time that it is trumpeting new centralized design and copy editing stations for The Carthage Press, Neosho Daily News, Pittsburg Morning Sun and its other newspapers that will eliminate workers in its more than 300 newspapers.
The latest news comes from Lee Enterprises, owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At almost exactly the same time the troubled company was laying off workers in Montana, it awarded three quarters of a million in bonuses to its two top officials.
The following is taken from the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission:
On March 21, 2012, the Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (the “Company”) Board of Directors’ Executive Compensation Committee (“ECC”) approved discretionary bonuses for Mary E. Junck, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Carl G. Schmidt, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, in the amounts of $500,000 and $250,000, respectively, related to the Company’s successful completion of its refinancing initiative.
Apparently, Lee has a different way of measuring success than the rest of us.