The memo, first posted on the Poynter.org Romenesko site, notes the moves are being done "to bring our expenses into better balance with our revenues, and help the company weather this prolonged economic storm."
The memo is below:
To: All Times Publishing Company Staff
From: Paul Tash
Last week, the board of directors unanimously reached two decisions to bring our expenses into better balance with our revenues, and help the company weather this prolonged economic storm.
First, we will implement a 5 percent, across-the-board wage reduction for all employees, starting November 2nd. We recognize that this will add to the strain that staffers are bearing, and we regret that this step is necessary. But in due time, we would regret even more a failure to recognize and respond to the worst recession in our lifetimes.
Second, for retirees on the company's health plan, the board decided to phase out health care coverage. Even as other companies dropped these benefits, Times Publishing preserved them as long as possible. We will help retirees identify other choices for health coverage, and we support efforts to expand health care options for all Americans.
We came to these decisions only when it was clear the recession would go longer and deeper than predicted. They are part of our plan to re-structure the company on a smaller revenue base, even while we advance our position in a competitive marketplace. I remain confident about our ultimate success, and one reason is your understanding and commitment in these challenging times.
Still, this announcement may leave you with questions. We have tried to anticipate and address some of them in the following Q & A. We also encourage discussions with your managers, and if your schedules permit, we recommend that you attend the company forums next week.
See you then.
By: Joe Strupp The St. Petersburg Times is implementing a 5% pay cut and phasing out health coverage for retirees, according to a memo from Editor Paul Tash.