Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Staffers Embrace Idea of the 'Free Vacation'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Staffers Embrace Idea of the 'Free Vacation'

Article excerpt

While many newspapers facing tough financial times are turning to layoffs and buyouts to trim costs, The Press of Atlantic City has taken a different route that brings savings but keeps staffers employed. Starting in 2001, the 67,650-circulation New Jersey daily has allowed employees to take time off without pay -- a practice that has drawn enough interest to stave off massive staff cuts, at least for the moment.

"It is something we have incorporated in the past few years," says Publisher Keith Dawn, who first launched the approach six years ago and brought it back for the past two years. "Certainly during the summer, people appreciate that."

The furlough plan began in 2001 as a mandatory program for all 300 employees, who were required to take a week off without pay when the paper saw a revenue decrease. But Dawn promised staffers that those lost wages would be returned at the end of the year if the paper's economics improved, which they did.

After 2001, the program was shelved but returned again in 2003 as an option for workers who wanted extra time off. That year, about 200 people took advantage of it. Says Dawn, "It was promoted as something to sign up for, but it was not tied to any slowdown in business."

After two years Dawn brought the program back in 2006, sparking another 200 takers. That move saved the paper about $100,000, according to Human Resources Director Kathleen Leonard. "It has been very, very successful," she says. "It really hasn't created staffing problems. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.