Gannett Co., the country’s largest newspaper publishing company, is ordering employees at 81 newspapers to take a week off without pay. This marks the third year in a row that Gannett workers have been subject to furloughs. The move is designed to avoid further layoffs. The company has already eliminated over one thousand jobs since 2007.
“This was, quite frankly, an option I had hoped we could avoid,” Bob Dickey, head of the company’s U.S. Community Publishing division, said in a memo to employees. “Furloughs, while difficult, do allow us to protect jobs. The staff reductions we have taken over the past few years have been very hard and further reductions are not our first preference. ”
Dickey himself is subject to the furlough, which must be taken by March 27.
California newspapers affected by the furloughs include The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, The Salinas Californian, the Tulare Advance-Register, and the Visalia Times-Delta.