?Dallas Morning News,? A.H. Belo Workers Getting Bonuses ? But Last Year?s Pay Cuts Are Now Permanent

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Employees at The Dallas Morning News and A.H. Belo’s other dailies will receive one-time bonuses that will range between 1.5% and 3% of their base salary — but the wage cuts imposed last year will be permanent,  Chairman and CEO Robert Decherd said as the company prepared for its annual meeting Thursday.

“The Compensation Committee (of A.H. Belo’s board of directors)  has concluded that the salary reductions made in 2009 are permanent, and that no merit increases or restoration of the matching contribution in the Company’s 401(k) plan (the A.H. Belo Savings Plan) will be made until such time as revenues stabilize,” Decherd wrote in the memo, first reported in the Frontburner blog of D Magazine by Tim Rogers. “We have made tremendous progress in reducing expenses and streamlining operations during a time of unprecedented change in our industry. However, we must remain diligent in managing costs until revenues stabilize.”

Decherd said the bonuses will be based on each employee’s compensation and responsibilities. The bonuses will be paid in December.

Executives and salespeople not represented by a union will not be eligible for the one-time bonus, Decherd said. “However, executive compensation plan participants will be eligible to receive a reduced bonus, as calculated in the existing plan designs,” he wrote. “Sales compensation plan participants will continue to be eligible to receive a full bonus as specified in their respective plans.”

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