‘Seattle Times’ Cutting Classified Sales Hours

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By: Joe Strupp

The Seattle Times is apparently reducing hours for some classified advertising staffers after a 59% drop in incoming classified calls, according to a memo from Times Advertising Vice President Mei-Mei Chan. The memo was first posted on the Web site of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild.

“At The Seattle Times, the dwindling numbers of classified ads has prompted the Advertising department to reduce hours for Classified Customer Sales employees,” a guild notice on the site states. “Inside territory classified salespeople will have their schedules changed, with no reductions in hours. Although the Classified Customer Sales employees have worked full-time hours in the past, they officially are classified as part-time employees.”

The memo from Chan follows below:

********************************************
From: Mei-Mei Chan
To: ADV CL Division
Sent: Mon Apr 27 13:19:26 2009
Subject: Changes to Classified schedules
Dear Classified staff,

I know you?ve been undergoing training in anticipation of May 3 changes in the system and the May 10 launch of Phase 2. Thank you.

This significant initiative reflects our need to evolve with the changing marketplace, in terms of products, services and expenses.

You know that Classified volumes continue to decline?incoming calls are 59% below last year. Today we?re announcing that we must adjust work schedules in response to that decline.

We are in the process of speaking to the individuals impacted about reduction in hours and adjustments in schedules, which will be effective June 15. Anyone whose new schedule is fewer than 40 hours will not need to take furlough for 2009 or 2010.

As the business continues to evolve, so will we. We thank you in advance for your contributions to our ongoing and future success.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to your manager or to our HR manager, Michelle McKinnon.

Mei-Mei

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