St. Cloud (Minn.) Times

Know any news about this round of layoffs? Discuss it here.

St. Cloud (Minn.) Times

Unread postby Gannettoid » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:32 pm

From the Blog:
St. Cloud blood shed: 4 people laid off, 2 positions go unfiled. Unknown number of hours cut in one department.

From: Albrecht, Bill
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2009 10:08 AM
To: StCloud-All
As you all know from the letter sent out recently by Bob Dickey, we and all other Gannett newspapers needed to make some payroll and expenses cuts to continue the fight against the recession and the reduced advertising spending of our customers. The impact at Times Media is that yesterday and this morning we laid off four people and reduced some staff hours. The layoffs include one designer position in prepress, one proof runner, one packaging supervisor and one private party sales rep. Hours where reduced in the Information Center.

Each of these employees were laid off as result of the actions we needed to take and not reflection on their performance or efforts. I thank them for their contributions and for helping us over the last very difficult 18 months in particular. Once again, the goal on the cuts is to keep the impact as far away from our readers and advertisers as possible. In some cases new technology will allow us to fill the gap left by the reduction of a position. As in the past, we will have to make sure we identify any issues that arise due to our changes. Through processes and other staffers stepping up we will have to overcome the hurdles to keep our products and services a strong value to customers. Additionally, we will be restructuring in the advertising department to cover two open positions (Administrative Assistant and Online Sales) that will not be filled.

Moving forward I do have optimism. Ad revenue has picked up in the last two months. The economy is still fragile and based just on two months it is too early to state that we have a positive trend. But there are indications that we are into the rebound. As I shared with the advertising staff, we are moving forward with the attitude, behavior and expectations that we are in the rebound and we will push hard to increase market share during the next six months. In fact, we launched an extremely assertive ad pricing program this week. It is designed to drive business for mid-sized advertisers (the Smart Solutions program was for smaller businesses) generating more sales at our advertisers’ cash register which then generates into more advertising sales.

Another indicator of good work by our ad staff and a sign that we are at the start of the rebound is that in Saturday’s paper we will have more than 200 home listings for sale. That is more than we have had in a weekend in more than a year. Anecdotally, we have heard that some of the auto dealers are moving some vehicles again. We believe it is because of pent up demand and changes in our Cars.com section.

It is not my intent to paint a rosy picture in light of staff reductions. I understand the stress and additional demands the reductions have on the entire operation. I share the positives because we can, if we all pull together and act now, we can catch the wave and impact our destiny.

If you have any questions please let me know.

BA
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