Skip to comments.Tribune moves to adopt new severance plan (LA Times, et al - Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 02/03/2009 1:18:13 PM PST by abb
A Delaware bankruptcy judge is expected to approve the Tribune Co.'s request to implement a new severance plan for nonunion employees.
Tribune attorneys said at a hearing Tuesday that they will submit a modified order for Judge Kevin Carey to sign that would provide for notice to the creditors committee and the U.S. trustee in the case before any payments are made to officers or other insiders.
"We don't intend to give them more than what the market bears at this time," Tribune attorney Kevin Lantry assured the judge.
Lantry said the company anticipates "a number of layoffs" this year, but he did not provide a figure, or details on how much money the severance program might involve.
"I hate to, in a public forum, articulate anticipated layoffs," explained Lantry, who said after the hearing that the situation is fluid and that the company's current projections could very well change.
Carey signaled that he was willing to authorize the new severance plan, as long as it included proper notice regarding payments to insiders.
"What you're asking for is a prospective blanket approval of such payments," he told Lantry. "It seems to me it's got to be conditioned on some process that lets others know what the debtor is doing."
Tribune, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The (Baltimore) Sun, The Hartford Courant and other dailies, as well as 23 television stations and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, sought bankruptcy protection in December because of dwindling advertising revenues and a debt load of $13 billion.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
St. Petersburg Times extends pay freeze
Washington Reporters Mass Exodus
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Even ‘St. Pete Times’ Announces Pay Freeze, Suspends 401-K Contributions
The lesson of that experiment, however, was not that readers won't pay for content. A lot of people in the news business, myself included, don't buy as a matter of theology that information "wants to be free." Really good information, often extracted from reluctant sources, truth-tested, organized and explained that stuff wants to be paid for. - Bill KellerAgreed Mr Keller. Democrat talking points passing as information does indeed want to be paid for. For their own good you ought to force your liberal/progressive/socialist readers to pay until they squeal.
Beleaguered Newspaper Execs: Don’t Tread on Me
Doubledown Media: RIP February 2009
Newspaper Execs Launch Group to 'Fight Back'By William B. Ketter
Published: February 02, 2009 11:55 PM ET
NEW YORK Newspapers and their online offspring combined are more popular than ever imagined and yet media reports nearly always paint a portrait of an industry gasping for air in the digital age.
This wrongheaded perception stems from the economic recession thats affected all advertising-based businesses, and from the myth that newspapers no longer attract the public support they once enjoyed.
But the biggest contributing factor to the distorted picture of the industrys condition just might be us, to paraphrase Pogo, the comic strip character.
With that irony in mind, a group of concerned newspaper executives has decided to fight back against the misrepresentation of newspapers and their continuing importance to the public, to the marketplace and to democracy. The name for the grassroots crusade is the "Newspaper Project."
Theyve created a Web site www.newspaperproject.org that will feature stories and commentary about the value of newspapers, and share tips on how they can cope with the tough times.
Monday, the group will launch a series of print and online ads telling, among other facts, the story of how American newspapers and their Web sites daily reach 100 million people, more than watched Sundays Super Bowl.
The ads will appear in major newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, and also in scores of community dailies, including the 89 owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.
"The roar of misinformation swirling around newspapers is deafening," said Donna Barrett, CNHIs president and CEO. "We must cut through the noise to set the record straight."
The groups message, said Barrett, is straightforward:
-- Newspapers are very much alive and growing when you consider the print and online audience together. And they talk to far more people than their radio, television and Internet competitors.
-- Newspapers have earned the publics trust because they employ professional journalists to verify news for truth, accuracy and context, and they are usually the first source of local news.
- Advertisers continue to invest in newspapers because they deliver results. They still move goods and services more reliably than other forms of promotion.
-- Newspapers remain essential to our democratic system of government, serving as a watchdog against crime and corruption, and a guide dog for information that allows the public to make informed decisions on the issues of the day.
"Newspapers dont have an audience problem," said Barrett, who is also president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. "Newspapers have a revenue problem, driven primarily by the recession."
In addition to Barrett, leaders of the public outreach campaign include Brian P. Tierney, publisher and CEO of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News; Randy Siegel, president and publisher of Parade Publications, and Jay Smith, former president of Cox Newspapers.
"A lot of people, both in our business as well as media decision-makers, are frustrated with the lack of perspective and the inability to get the full story (about newspapers) out," said Tierney in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"Because journalism is so essential for a democracy, we really need to tell this story ourselves in a more aggressive way. Rather than wait for everybody to get together, an insurgent group of folks decided to do it on our own."
In doing so, the group said, it is not diminishing the serious challenges facing newspapers, other media and every other business during the current economic ferment.
"We acknowledge the challenges facing the newspaper industry in todays rapidly changing media world," said Barrett. "However, we reject the notion that newspapers and the valuable content that newspaper journalists provide have no future."
Barrett said newspapers are adjusting to the economic and industry conditions, making changes aimed at keeping them profitable and informative.
Theres no question newspaper content and appearance are being reexamined and rapidly overhauled to meet smaller budgets and the changing requirements of the public.
Management structures and sales practices are also changing, with the emphasis on fewer executives and more soldiers in the trenches.
But what hasnt changed and what the Newspaper Project wants to burn into the public psyche is the primary function of newspapers: to inform and to connect readers to the world around them.
Nobody does that better than newspapers, and because of this crucial function, they expect to weather both the recession and the digital age, despite the media pundits who bellow otherwise.
“The ads will appear in major newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, and also in scores of community dailies, including the 89 owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.”
Of course, since nobody reads them anymore, it will be like the proverbial tree falling in the forest.