Here’s the memo from publisher Jim Moroney given today to DMN staff re “voluntary severance.”
The Dallas Morning News Plans Voluntary Severance
DALLAS, TEXAS (June 26, 2006) — The Dallas Morning News announced it is planning a voluntary severance program for newsroom employees. This program is part of the organization’s on-going effort to continue to compete successfully in an increasingly Internet-centric market place. At the Newspaper Association of America’s Mid-Year Media Review this month, Robert W. Decherd, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Belo Corp., owner of The Dallas Morning News said, “We are launching new products, reengineering our cost structure and reallocating human, financial and capital resources to match the Company’s forward strategy, while constantly looking to take costs out of our business overall. We are determined to remain the content provider of choice in our local markets and are confident that we have the assets and management talent to succeed.” Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of The Dallas Morning News said, “A voluntary severance program for Dallas Morning News newsroom employees is consistent with this strategy.” Program details and timing are under consideration. The Dallas Morning News will announce program specifics when those specifics are finalized.
About The Dallas Morning News
Established in 1885, The Dallas Morning News is the nation’s tenth largest newspaper and serves a readership of nearly 1.6 million. The newspaper has received eight Pulitzer Prizes since 1986, as well as numerous other industry awards recognizing the quality of its investigative and feature journalism, design and photojournalism. Its Web site, DallasNews.com, received the Scripps Howard Foundation National Award for Web Reporting in 2005. In 2003, the paper launched the leading Spanish-language daily in North Texas, Al DÃa; the standard-setting free weekday paper, Quick; and the nation’s first editorial blog. The Dallas Morning News is the flagship newspaper subsidiary of Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), one of the nation’s largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with 7,700 employees and more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates in some of America’s most dynamic markets in Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, and Rhode Island and the Mid-Atlantic.
Statements in this communication concerning a voluntary severance program and other matters that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” under applicable federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements. Such risks, uncertainties and factors include but are not limited to changes in advertising demand; changes in newspaper readership; newsprint prices; technological changes; development of Internet commerce; industry cycles; general economic conditions; and significant armed conflict, and other risks detailed in Belo Corp.’s other public disclosures and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
As I have said previously, our industry is undergoing a great deal of change reflecting the changing habits of our readers and online users. We have been making significant changes in how we serve audiences. No major metropolitan newspaper in the country has been more innovative in the past four years than The Dallas Morning News. That’s why we’re very well positioned to lead the transition of our core business from newsprint to digital. We know how to effect change.
The pace of change will not slow down; it will only continue to speed up. We must position ourselves to maintain the quality that the core audience expects from the broadsheet newspaper and actively transition our resources to growing our digital advantage. Given the dynamic nature of the business today, we are planning a voluntary severance program in the newsroom as a way for newsroom employees to pursue other endeavors if they feel that this climate of change is not right for them. We understand that this uncertainty is difficult. We will announce program specifics after they are finalized.
Thank you for all your hard work and for your commitment to helping us transition in this rapidly changing environment.