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Archives: April 2009

BNP Cuts Salaries 25% Yet Makes Us Feel Sorry For The CEOs

Business-to-business publisher BNP Media has announced it is slashing salaries by 25% indefinitely, effective May 1. Jeez, that’s, like, this Friday.

“”We need to survive until this economy can turn around and everyone can get back on their feet and back to business as usual,” co-CEO Harper Henderson told FOLIO.

In an internal memo, the Hendersons sound less confident: the co-CEOs Harper, Mitchell, and Taggert Henderson blamed the banks.

While we (the Henderson family) are certainly partially to blame for having taken on such a high amount of risk, were it not for their demands, we would be able to just pay them and move on,” the memo reads. “But, beyond just paying them (which we are doing and can continue to do) they require we meet certain financial covenants; these are what are causing us such serious problems. This unfortunate set of circumstances has forced us to make cuts that none of us could have ever imagined.”

I’m torn between feeling sorry for them (because they sound kinda pathetic) and then remembering that they just gave like 500 people a 25% pay cut.

Is HR Too Easy To ‘Fall Into’?

Does it matter if human resources is usually not the “sexiest” career? Do companies suffer when b-school dropouts end up in HR instead?

This isn’t to hate on HR; after all, the profession gets enough hate from outside its ranks. But it is an interesting conundrum. HR, unlike, say, accounting or brain surgery, is something you can “fall into” quite easily: you take an entry-level admin job, a few years later, you’re asked to take care of payroll, and next thing you know you’re poring over benefits and 401(k) statements.

Jessica Lee
, Employment Manager for APCO Worldwide, a PR firm in D.C., wonders if this should change. “What if we continued working towards improving the profession and the caliber of our own talent… and really worked toward making it a career of choice, and we ourselves were a bit more choosy about who we let in?”

Your One-Page Guide To Social Media Recruiting

starfish.gifA starfish might not be the first thing you think of when you’re looking for that perfect media hire, but Chris Russell blogging on Cheezhead wants you to check out the Social Media Recruiting Starfish. Russell’s updated the starfish to include new tools like Jobvite, Talentseekr, and Youtube (using it as a recruiting channel).

In case you’re still not convinced: “social media, done right, can greatly reduce a company’s reliance on the major job boards, and in some cases eliminate the need entirely….social media works because it humanizes your company.”

Read more, and download the starfish, here.

Four Ways To Save The Times

flickr: Hamed Saber

Everyone’s talking about nonprofit newspapers these days, but could they actually work? Penelope Muse Abernathy , the Knight Chair for Journalism and Digital Media Economics at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is presenting a paper next week examining four ways the New York Times might be saved. We got our hands on a copy of the paper (you can too) to see what the Grey Lady’s chances of survival are.

Abernathy lays out the following four options:
1. Establishment of an endowment that would provide funds to support the Times news department’s annual $200 million budget.
2. Foundational support for some portion of the Times’ journalistic endeavor – perhaps its foreign or cultural coverage.
3. Purchase of the Times by an educational institution or university.
4. Sale of the Times to an “angel” investor, who would be willing both to adequately compensate the Sulzberger family members for their century-long stewardship and to assume or retire the debt and other liabilities.

Which of these solutions could work? Read on.

Read more

Waco Fox Affiliate Trims Newscast To Six Minutes

Has the Twitvolution started? In order to cut costs, KWKT-TV has replaced its 30-minute weeknight newscast with a six-minute show and 30-second “news blasts” interspersed throughout the day.

Five employees of the station, all reporters or assignment editors, were laid off as a result of the change.

“We thought we were being called into a conference call with corporate, then we saw five envelopes on the desk,” laid-off reporter Laura Neal, 24, told the Waco Tribune-Herald.

KWKT General Manager Ron Crowder explained that the show’s ratings were good, but that KWKT’s corporate parent was putting pressure on the channel to cut costs.

“To us, we were doing better than we had expected,” Crowder said. “The company that owns us (Lafayette, La.-based White Knight Broadcasting, Inc.) lost $8 million in auto advertising due to the economy, however.”

McGraw Hill Revenue Drops 5.7%; Broadcasting Division Falls 22.9%; BusinessWeek’s Profit Plummets

McGraw-Hill Cos. broadcasting division’s revenue dropped 22.9 percent this quarter, reflecting a “softness” in local and national advertising and a lack of political ads, the company reported today. The broadcasting group, which consists of four ABC affiliates, earned $18.3 million for the textbook publisher.

The company also reported that BusinessWeek magazine, which it publishes, saw a 39.8% drop in ad pages this quarter compared to Q1 2008. BusinessWeek magazine and the rest of the Information & Media group’s profits plummeted 76.4% to $2.8 million.

McGraw-Hill’s profits overall fell 22 percent, and revenue fell 5.7% to $1.1 billion.

Links for 4-27-09: Alt-Weeklies Talk | Wage Cuts At Strib | More

Get $25 Off Our Creative Storytelling Course

Going to be in New York next week? Check out our one-night event for designers and marketers, next Wednesday, May 5. Creative Storytelling: Innovative Design in Advertising and Branding is a panel discussion with designers who are looking at client campaigns through a new optic. They’re creating compelling stories, solving business problems, and connecting clients to customers through innovative advertising, branding, and interactive design.

You can read more about the course here or just register at this link. You’ll get $25 off with the promo code TWEET25.

Washington State Legislature Approves Newspaper Tax Break

The Washington legislature has approved a bill that, if signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, will cut state newspapers’ business taxes by 40% through 2015.

The tax in question is the state’s primary business tax, so this measure, if approved, could save papers a fair amount of money.

The Senate approved the bill by a 46-2 vote yesterday, and goes to Gregoire at some future date. (It’s not on her Bill Action schedule for tomorrow, so we’ll see.)

ABC: Daily Paper Circulation Fell 7%

Newspapers are shedding circulation at a “record rate,” according to Editor and Publisher and the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s new FAS-FAX report.

The New York Times lost 3.5% daily in the six months ending March 31 2009, compared to the same period a year ago, and 1.7% on Sundays.

The Washington Post lost 1.6% of its daily circulation.

The New York Post, which has the seventh largest circulation in the country, lost a whopping 20% of its circulation, the worst decline among the top 25 papers.

USA Today, still the largest-circulating paper in the country, lost 7%, mostly thanks to hotels canceling their subscriptions.

Read more at E&P.