Friday, January 16, 2009

Blog offers assessment of Gannett furloughs

Reflections of a Newsosaur, a blog written by former San Francisco Chronicle and Chicago Sun-Times editor Alan D. Mutter, offers its assessment of Gannett's company-wide edict that all employees take one week off without pay this quarter:

Assuming Gannett’s payroll is equal to 20% of its $7 billion in revenues in the last 12 months, then one week’s payroll is worth about $27 million. If the salary of the average employee is $45,000 per year, then the company would have to eliminate some 600 jobs to achieve the same level of savings as the furlough.

Though I have no problem believing Mutter's accuracy, I do question the need for the furlough when the company's own figures show nearly all of its properties, including the Springfield News-Leader, have been making a profit. Again, it appears the workers have been sacrificed on the altar of the shareholders.

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