Alaska News

ADN: Sinking ad revenue, more layoffs

To: All (ADN) Employees
From: J. Patrick Doyle, Publisher
Subject: McClatchy Announcement
Date: Feb. 5, 2009

Here at the Anchorage Daily News, we have seen an unprecedented loss in advertising revenue, due to our local retailers and auto dealers being impacted by the weakening economy. In addition, employment-advertising losses continue to drop to all-time lows. These challenges are clearly driven by a deepening recession that is hurting our economy.

This morning, McClatchy announced that it is freezing its pension plans and temporarily suspending the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31. McClatchy also announced that it would cut an additional 100 to 110 million in expenses over the next 12 months. The press release is available at McClatchy will send more detail on the retirement changes to you directly, both by e-mail and information mailed to your home.

Here at the Anchorage Daily News, we are still developing our plan to address these expense cuts. Unfortunately, these cuts will include position eliminations. However, we also are exploring several other alternatives to limit the number of layoffs. We will share these details with you just as soon as they are final.

We understand how disruptive it is to receive these announcements without more specific information. We also understand that today's announcement is especially discouraging given all the cuts made in 2008. We had hoped that previous cuts would be sufficient to see us through the sharp revenue declines affecting our industry. Instead, we must continue to respond to the unprecedented and deepening financial crisis that is threatening not only our industry, but all kinds of businesses in almost every sector of the economy.

The decisions we now need to make are difficult, but we will act quickly, deliberately and with an eye toward the future. We are positioning this newspaper to compete and succeed in a demanding, competitive, more integrated media environment. We will remain the community's most comprehensive source of news and advertising.

As in the past, we will work quickly to notify employees who may be affected by staff reductions. As we have just begun work on these plans now, you may not hear more from us for at least a few weeks. Employees whose positions are eliminated will be provided with a transition package that will include severance pay and benefits continuation. We also will provide outplacement services and do everything possible to make their transition as smooth as possible.

There's no way Anchorage Daily News would be able to manage through today's difficult environment without the talent, innovation and dedication of our staff. I know we've asked a lot of you in the past and we are asking more from you today. I hope we can continue to count on you. Thank you for all you do.

Craig Medred

Craig Medred is a former writer for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Dispatch News. He left the ADN in 2015.