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Gannett Lets Employees Sell Stock

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Gannett Lets Employees Sell Stock

Article excerpt

Changes spring from Enron's fall

The Enron Corp. collapse has much of Corporate America looking critically at its own business practices -- and newspapers are no exception.

In the most striking example, Gannett Co. Inc.'s board of directors last week amended the company's 401(k) plan to permit employees to diversify all their plan investments.

While Gannett said its board still views company stock as a good investment, the amendment seemed like the right thing to do, according to company spokeswoman Tara Connell. "Enron just made everyone stop and say 'Whoa,'" she said.

Media General Inc. also reviewed its retirement plan, which restricts workers from transferring more than 25% of their funds that are in company stock each quarter. The company decided to leave the plan unchanged, but use its next corporate newsletter to reassure employees that "we were not Enron," Chief Financial Officer Marshall N. Morton emphasized.

Other companies said their plans already give employees full flexibility to diversify their 401(k) holdings, so no changes were warranted.

At Gannett, employees under age 55 previously could not sell the company's shares they received as a match. …

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