Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Belo Gave Bonuses to Execs While Announcing 500 Job Cuts

A.H. Belo Corp. gave bonuses to its newspaper and corporate managers at the same time it announced a mass layoff of 500 employees last week, Robert Wilonsky reported today in the Dallas Observer.
On Friday, A.H. Belo Corporation announced that it would, yet again, lay off about 500 more workers at all of its properties, among them The Dallas Morning News and The Providence Journal. At the same time, Belo managers, in the newspaper group and in the corporate offices, were receiving bonuses promised to them at the beginning of 2008 if they hit "quantifiable financial targets," says A.H. Belo executive vice president Jim Moroney III today. Moroney tells Unfair Park the timing was indeed "unfortunate," which is why he has been meeting with unhappy News employees ever since -- to explain why the bonuses were given, and to insist that no further bonuses will be handed out for the foreseeable future.

After the jump is a Q&A conducted this afternoon with the publisher and chief executive officer of The Dallas Morning News, in which he addresses the bonuses, the profitability of Dallas's Only Daily and whether or not it will begin charging for some online content in the near future. This is "hand-to-hand combat," Moroney says in between meetings with employees. "I don't think there's an industry, except maybe grocery stores, being spared in this economy. But we were hit earlier and deeper."

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