Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Here comes the hatchet

To: All Employees

From: David Landsberg, Publisher

Subject: Workforce and Wage Reductions

Date: March 11, 2009

Following Monday’s McClatchy Company cost savings announcement, I want to share with you the details for the Miami Herald Media Company. We are announcing plans to reduce our workforce by approximately 19%. About 175 employees will lose their jobs as a result, and we will eliminate another 30 vacant positions, for a total reduction of 205. Reductions will occur in all areas of our operation and at every level in the organization.

Although many of the job eliminations will occur through involuntary layoffs, there also will be opportunities for employees to voluntarily elect a severance package where reductions are occurring in work groups of two or more employees. If enough employees do not take the voluntary option, then the work groups will be reduced either by function or according to least tenure, depending on the workgroup.

Employees affected by this reduction are being notified and provided with information about a transition package. If a voluntary option is being offered to your work group, you will receive written notification with additional information today.

The decisions about where to reduce jobs have been extremely difficult. Please know that we have done everything possible to minimize the impact of layoffs by identifying alternative means of saving expenses, several of which are detailed below.

We will implement pay reductions for all full-time employees making more than $25,000 per year in base salary. For those who earn between $25,000 and $50,000 per year in base pay, the reduction will be 5%. For employees who make more than $50,000 per year in base pay, the reduction will be 10%.

Every employee will receive a letter detailing the impact of the pay reduction in the next few days. These reductions will take effect for the pay period beginning March 23, 2009.

We will also implement a one-week unpaid furlough program. Details on that program, which will begin in April, will be made available in the next two weeks.

Additionally, we are eliminating all 2009 bonuses (MBOs) for everyone in management.

We also are reducing operational expenses in all areas. Among those reductions:

We will convert our presses to a 44-inch web format, which will conserve more than $2 million in newsprint on an annualized basis.

We have leased the sixth floor of One Herald Plaza, and we will consolidate our Dadeland news and advertising operations into other Herald facilities and seek a tenant to lease that office space.

We will cease publication of our International Edition, reducing costs that are now outpacing revenues for that product.

While there will be tightening of news pages on various days, we have worked hard to maintain our newspapers at the quality level our readers have come to expect.

All of these are difficult decisions, especially when it means saying goodbye to so many of our friends and colleagues. But we must make these additional cuts to ensure the viability of our newspapers and to adjust to new competitive and economic realities.

Each of the actions we’re announcing today has been shaped by our commitment to continue to serve readers, advertisers and our community through the vital public service we have provided for more than 100 years. We must keep that mission – and the long view – in our sights. Every day, I hear from readers about the value of the work we do. While forced to make difficult changes, we will not lose focus on continuing to be South Florida’s most trusted source of information.

Again, I want to apologize for the disruption that you have experienced over the last several weeks. We can only respectfully ask, as we have in the past, that you keep your focus and continue to work hard to help our company succeed.

Please contact human resources if you have any questions about the severance program or wage reductions. Thanks.

H/T: Deep Throat


Father of eight said...

If the present level of quality is to be maintained, there' not much hope.

Elena Maza said...

I have some friends who work there, so I feel for all those who are going to lose their jobs or have to take pay reductions. But the Herald deserves what it's getting. If they had been more sympathetic to the Cuban community in Miami in their so-called reporting, they would have kept many subscribers as a loyal base. Instead, they've done everything possible over the years to insult and denigrate us. You reap what you sow.

Anonymous said...

Is there a list of affected employees?

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I'll post whatever I get as soon as I get it.

Anonymous said...

thank you - I have many friends there and would like to reach out after I know.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Bob Norman is publishing a list of names here:


Anonymous said...

seems that all that everyone cares about are newsroom employee... just remember, your paper wouldn't even hit the streets without press support. everybody complains "you didn't put enough time into relations here...there...where ever" "you didn't focus enough on blah blah blah" like you have the answers to what will save the paper? get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Dan Christensen got fired. His wife works at the Sun Sentinel.