Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Advance Announces Company-Wide Furloughs

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Advance Announces Company-Wide Furloughs

Article excerpt

Advance Publications is instituting mandatory 10-day furloughs and a pension freeze at nearly all of its daily papers outside Michigan, according to Steve Newhouse, chairman of Advance.net and a company spokesman.

Those Michigan dailies, meanwhile, are undergoing a string of changes that include cutbacks in frequency for some and consolidation of operations for others.

Word of the furloughs began to spread last week, but formal announcements were going out today at most of the company's Newhouse Newspapers, including The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.; The Plain Dealer in Cleveland; The Oregonian in Portland; The Times-Picayune in New Orleans; and The Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance, as well as the chain's dailies in Syracuse, N.Y.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Harrisburg, Pa.

"Most of our papers will have two measures," Newhouse said. "One is a freeze of our defined benefit plan, or pension, that will be paired with an increase in our 401 (k) match. The other is a mandatory 10-day furlough, unpaid furlough."

He did not cite newspapers that would not be affected by the furloughs, other than The Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J., which is threatened with closure next month if cutbacks cannot be instituted.

Newhouse said the furloughs would likely be required within the next 12 months or by the end of 2009, he was not sure. He also did not have specific figures on the 401 (k) increase.

"It is certainly a difficult day. …

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