More changes in the air

I just got word from a former student who works for Gannett broadcast newsroom that the entire company plans to furlough each employee for a week to save money. The CEO, Craig Dubow, says he will take the one week of unpaid vacation all the way down to the hourly workers. USA Today employees were also informed in a memo that there will be no pay raises this year.

My only hope is this means the company will not have to make a more drastic change like laying even more workers off. 

I've searched the best I can and here are some of the discussions about this announcement:

New York Times article Reuters (on Yahoo News) Politico Unofficial Gannett Blog E&P Pub Editor & Publisher Des Moines Register

This comes while the Reynolds Journalism Institute plans to hold a one day talkfest about getting journalists back on the street. There will be a good crowd participating here in Columbia, MO while another 100 people plan to take part in an Adobe Connect room. We hope to spend the day brainstorming on how we can build a journalism incubator here at RJI (The RJI Collaboratory) and find ways to help journalists remain journalists. (That means being able to cover news AND eat food with a roof over his or her head).

UPDATE: After talking to one of my former students who is an on-air reporter, his/her station was told anyone with service contracts (mainly broadcast reporters and producers) are exempt from the furlough. Photographers and other newsroom positions will be required to take part in the furlough. There is already a growing tension between reporters and photographers.

A former Gannett employee now blogs about the company and is posting as much as he can gather. Here is his link to the FAQ Gannett gave to employees.