Gannett imposes 1-week unpaid furlough as ads drop

January 14, 2009 5:27:37 PM PST
The nation's largest newspaper company says it's imposing one-week unpaid furloughs for most of its U.S. employees. Gannett Co. Inc., which owns six newspapers in New Jersey, says it hopes the move will minimize the need for further layoffs.

Company officials say the economic recession and a severe downturn in advertising are necessitating the unpaid leave.

Gannett's largest paper, USA Today, has also declared a one-year freeze on wages effective Feb. 1.

Gannett had several rounds of layoffs last year, including one in December slashing the work force at most of its U.S. newspapers by 10 percent.

Employees must take the furloughs during the first quarter. Union-covered employees will be asked to participate, and layoffs are possible if they refuse.

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