Faced with continuing industry weakness in advertising spending, Freedom Communications Inc. announced Friday a companywide furlough program. Employees at all levels of the company, including those at the Tribune, will take five days off work, without pay, between April 1 and June 30.
“We need to continue to reduce expenses while delivering our valuable products and services to our customers and advertisers. Of the many options we considered, a furlough provides the savings we’re seeking, while still allowing us to maximize operations,” Freedom CEO Scott Flanders said.
Tribune publisher and Freedom Pacific Region Vice President Julie Moreno made a local announcement to Tribune employees Friday morning. Moreno said the intent is to take advantage of savings ahead of what is expected to be a slow economic recovery.
Flanders added: “Freedom continues to generate positive cash flow, and we see the furlough program as a sound business and financial move to help weather the present severe economic conditions that we believe will improve by year-end.”
Freedom employees and supervisors will work together to schedule furloughs in a way that minimizes the impact on customers and operations, Flanders said.
This announcement mirrors actions taken by many of Freedom’s media industry peers, including MediaNews Group, Media General, The McClatchy Co. and Gannett Co. Inc.