Could MediaNews Group furlough program come to the Denver Post?

Even as a Denver Post statement branded a Rocky Mountain News story about troubles at the broadsheet inaccurate, another memo associated with MediaNews Group, the Post's owner, was turning heads on the left coast. The document, first published at Jim Romenesko's Poynter Online address, revealed that employees at the nine MediaNews dailies that make up the Bay Area News Group cluster, would be required to take one week off without pay by the end of March in a cost-cutting move. At around the same time, workers at the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, consisting of MediaNews properties like the Los Angeles Daily News, received the same marching orders.

These moves follow the institution of a similar policy at newspapers and broadcast outlets owned by Gannett, and an interview with Bob Moore, editor of the Gannett-owned Fort Collins Coloradoan, suggests that impacted employees much prefer a forced five-day break to layoffs -- at least right now. For that reason, expect other MediaNews papers to follow suit, possibly including the firm's flagship paper, the Post. Even if conditions at the Post aren't as bad as the aforementioned Rocky report argues, the economy as a whole most certainly is.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts