Sam Zell's national tour of Tribune Company offices has been charming: the old coot has blasted overpaid executives, bought morale-improving pool tables and sworn at journalists. But the entertaining show can't change one basic reality: Tribune's newspapers are flailing; Zell is an over-leveraged corporate raider who'll cut costs; and he'll end up just as hated as the company's former overlords. Case in point: Newsday, Tribune's New York flagship, is cutting 120 jobs. This memo just came across the company email.
From: Knight, T. P.
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 3:15 PM
To: Communications, Newsday
Subject: Today's Actions
Dear fellow Newsday employee,
As I informed you a few weeks ago, we have been assessing our business in light of our company strategies and the current revenue environment. Today we initiated job reduction actions across the company. These actions included notifying employees that we are eliminating their positions and posting notices in the editorial, transportation and pressroom bargaining units to eliminate positions in accordance with the labor contracts. About 120 employees are affected. Some individuals will leave today, while others will stay through the end of March. These difficult actions are based on our urgent need to focus on the things that drive audience and revenue growth, while we manage through a soft advertising revenue environment that requires us to significantly reduce costs.
Our vision for Newsday is to grow through innovation and market responsiveness, and my foremost responsibility is to ensure that we are a healthy organization equipped and motivated to succeed in this rapidly changing and challenging marketplace. Though we all know we will not grow by cutting, we have no choice but to respond to the revenue decline and make cost adjustments now. I have reported on recent organizational changes and other new developments in our business that I expect will help us get past this difficult time and ultimately achieve the sustained growth we all desire.
I'm convinced our success will come from learning to continually reinvent ourselves, delivering to our audiences and advertising customers the news, information and connectivity they desire, where, when and in the format they want. Over the next few weeks, I will continue to outline our near-term and long-term plans and the role each of you needs to play going forward.
Today is the last day at Newsday for some of our colleagues, and we wish them well and thank them for their service. As always, you have my continued thanks for your commitment to the future of our business.