In Advance of Layoffs, A.H. Belo Corp. to Reduce Salaries and Pension Contributions

On DMNCuts, word is A.H. Belo Corp. will start trimming staff at The Dallas Morning News early next week. Which will be followed on May 1 by pay cuts for all: Robert Decherd this morning sent a "Letter to Colleagues" in which the A.H. Belo chairman, CEO and president announced that anyone making over $25,000 will be subject to salary reductions, from 2.5 percent for those collecting between $25,001 and $74,999 to 15 percent for anyone collecting more than $225,000. And, yes, that includes the Big Boss himself, who'll take a 20 percent hit in his reported $600,000 base salary (but, apparently, won't be returning bonus money), while other "Management Committee members" will see their paychecks drop by 15 percent.

Belo's also going to save $6 million, Decherd writes, by no longer funding after this year the A. H. Belo Pension Transition Supplement Plan. But "to cushion the impact of the wage cuts," he writes, employees will get an extra three personal days off per year. Also, notes Decherd in his letter:

If you are notified prior to June 30, 2009 that you will be impacted by the reduction in force currently underway, your severance will be calculated at your current base salary as of today's date. Our hope is to restore most or all of these cuts for impacted employees at some time in the future, as business conditions permit. ...

The cost-reduction initiatives we have implemented have real consequences and everyone is affected in some way. As conditions improve -- which they inevitably will -- we expect to look back at these steps as being painful but necessary for the long-term prosperity of our great Company. What we do everyday is special.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky