Star-Telegram Sheds 22 Staffers

Here’s the memo to staff from the president and publisher of the paper:

To: All Employees
From: Gary Wortel
Date: February 8, 2011

Over the past six months we have seen encouraging financial improvements in several areas, including retail, employment, local automotive, online and targeted publications. We continue to outperform local competitors in total audience and our broad range of advertising solutions is producing results for customers.

But as we’ve read in our own paper, the economy and many sectors of our advertising business are still struggling. Although we remain optimistic for the long term, it is proving impossible to predict when a turnaround will occur. Therefore we must continue to tightly control and reduce expenses until we are certain recessionary challenges are behind us

Today we are announcing a staff reduction of approximately 22 positions, plus the elimination of a number of open positions. Where reductions are necessary in work groups, we are offering a voluntary option. As we’ve done in the past, if enough employees do not take the voluntary option, those work groups will be reduced according to least tenure.

Employees impacted by this reduction have been notified by their manager and given information about a transition package that includes severance pay, and for those who qualify, subsidized benefits continuation. Employees included in the work groups eligible for the voluntary option will be receiving information packets this afternoon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please direct them to your manager, Darla Ruiz or Matt Byars in Human Resources.

As we’ve discussed before, we are not just fighting the recession, we also are transitioning to a new hybrid media company. Although that sounds complicated, it really means keeping our focus on what’s important: Providing value to our readers and advertisers. Offering the best support we can to all our customers during these hard times. And continuing to expand the ways we distribute our content and advertising. Your strong efforts are helping us improve in all these areas and ultimately will allow us to avoid these painful reductions in the future.

I appreciate the dedication of each Star-Telegram employee and want to thank you for your contributions.

Gary

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