Following News of More Belo Layoffs, Union Demands Robert Decherd Take a Pay Cut
A.H. Belo announced this morning that it is going to "cut approximately 500 jobs, or more than 14 percent of its workforce," at all of its properties, among them The Dallas Morning News and the Providence Journal. Which is why a Friend of Unfair Park sends this announcement from the Providence Newspaper Guild: This morning it adopted a joint resolution, along with the Providence Unit Council, calling for A.H. Belo Corp. CEO Robert Decherd to "give back a 140% raise granted in December." As The News reported on December 8 -- less than two months after A.H. Belo laid off some 500 employees, following a first round of buyouts and layoffs in '06 -- Decherd will receive a salary this year of $600,000. In 2008, he took a reduced salary of $250,000, but only after receiving a 2007 salary of nearly $1 million, in addition to a $3 million bonus. The resolution reads, in its entirety:
In recognition of the trying times facing the newspaper industry and the sacrifices A.H. Belo employees have been called upon to make, including in some cases their very jobs, we call on A.H. Belo CEO and president Robert W. Decherd to forgo his recent 140% raise and return his base salary to its 2008 level of a quarter million dollars a year.
Unfair Park has called Decherd's office, but his assistant says "he isn't available" to discuss either the layoff memo or union's resolution. We were referred instead to Maribel Correa, director of investor relations and corporate communications, who likewise hasn't returned phone calls.
Update: Correa called back, but didn't offer much: "I have no comment other than what's in the letter," she said. She says she does not know when layoffs will begin or from which departments they will come: "We do not how those headcounts are going to be allocated," is how she put it. Nor could she say whether A.H. Belo will address the union's resolution this morning. One thing she did say, for those among us who receive Briefing whether we want it or not: It's profitable, to the tune of $500,000 since its last August launch, and therefore not going away any time soon.
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