Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wave of Furloughs at Idaho Dailies

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Last week we reported that the Idaho Statesman had turned to furloughs to save cash. But the Statesman is not the only newspaper in the region that has instituted furloughs in response to revenue loss. The Spokesman-Review has laid off employees in other departments, but chose to furlough employees in the newsroom, on the recommendation of News Editor Gary Graham.

Graham told citydesk last week that he was able to convince the publisher to furlough newsroom staff instead of laying anyone off. He announced the furloughs about a month ago and they need to be taken by September 30. For the most part, The Spokesman-Review has been able to accommodate newsroom staff as far as when they chose to take their furlough. Many employees are tacking it onto their planned vacation leave, or using the furlough in lieu of taking vacation days.

Graham commends his staff with their receptivity to the furloughs. The feedback he has heard is that employees would rather bear the brunt of the hard times collectively than see a coworker lose their job. Graham said he was willing to do anything possible to avoid layoffs, in an industry that’s trying to stay afloat these days.

Management at the Times-News in Twin Falls declined to discuss newsroom cost cutting measures.

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