Notes from Publisher’s meeting

According to reports, the following topics came up at October publisher’s meeting:

1. The publisher would not confirm just how many buyouts had been applied for. He was pressed on this issue but refused to budge despite acknowledging there is no good reason for keeping the number under wraps.

2. Notification of those whose buyouts have been accepted should begin taking place within days. Most recipients will be informed in the very near future. He said it has been delayed by two factors: a) An ongoing debate between he and the news editor over how many should be accepted. b) Conflicting opinions over whether replacements should be hired for any of those beyond the targeted number (200-230) who are given buyouts.

3. Once the buyout recipients have been identified, they will be let go in waves. Wave one will be dispatched Nov. 1; wave two will go out the door Dec. 1, and the balance will depart Dec. 31. The publisher said there were advantages in having the majority go early.

4. The entire cost of the buyouts will be charged to Calendar Year 2008’s operations.

5. The budget for 2009 will show the S-L returning to profitability despite continued erosion of ad revenue premised on the demise of Circuit City, the loss of some car dealerships and the continued slump in real estate.

6. A  company cost saver under consideration is the elimination or reduction of the annual bonuses next year.

7. The newspaper will likely leave the current building within the next 2-3 years.

8. The Trenton Times will largely become a web-focused, hyper-local experiment for the Ledger.

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One Response to “Notes from Publisher’s meeting”

  1. jerseygull Says:

    Why is all this taking so long? It’s been going on for nearly 3 months now, and we still don’t know who’s getting the buyout, when we are leaving, how much of our bonuses we’ll get. Seems to me they should have worked all this out before they made the big announcement.
    And there were further notes from the publisher’s meeting having to do with selling the building, possibly contracting the payroll function so all the payroll employees could leave, and the Trenton Times, whose editor now reports to our editor. Were any of these measures tried before? It seems to me a lot of money could have been saved if anyone had really thought about it. There might still be a need for buyouts but maybe not so many, and maybe the package could have been structured to give those with seniority a little more incentive to leave.

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