St. Cloud Times owner implementing upper-income furloughs

Earlier this month, I noted that things were turning up — or getting less bad, at least — for St. Cloud Times employees, with parent company Gannett Co. lifting a year-long pay freeze as of April 1. What wasn’t known then was whether Gannett’s U.S. Community Papers division would continue furloughs, which of course would represent a pay cut even if one’s base pay was somehow raised.

The bad news is that Gannett is implementing second-quarter furloughs, according to the Gannettoid blog. The good news, for most staffers, is that the unpaid week off will only hit employees making $90,000 or more — which would mean not very many in Stearns County.

The Gannett news continues the 2010 trend of legacy-media cuts diminishing — though certainly not ending — as ad-sales declines slow from 2009’s free fall. Traditional media is in no way out of the woods, as Monday’s Pew Research Center study vividly chronicled, but even a one-quarter pay-cut pause for most workers qualifies as relief these days. 

[Update: Late Tuesday afternoon, a company spokeswoman denied the report, saying there will be no second-quarter furloughs for anyone.]

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