Tickler file: Budget cuts? A looming board meeting

With Gannett shares screaming lower, and the third-quarter earnings release coming up next Friday, here’s what I’m watching right now. In the newsroom, this would be part of my tickler file:

Budget revisions. We’ve got fresh speculation that Corporate is looking for even bigger spending cuts in the newspaper division — 7.5% or more. What’s that mean for another round of job cuts? Is the deadline timed to next week’s expected board of directors meeting?

Louisville this Friday. CEO Craig Dubow and newspaper division President Bob Dickey have chosen a momentous time for a meet-and-greet with Courier-Journal employees. “Considering the environment these days, it should be an interesting meeting,” a reader said here.

Next Wednesday. That’s when the board of directors will probably start its pre-earnings meetings; these often last two days. If Chairman Dubow has any big strategic changes for fellow directors to approve, he’s now got less than seven days to build those PowerPoint presentations. “Any sweeping management plan has to be put to the board of directors for review and approval,” a reader noted here.

Caution ahead!
Rumor Central is going into overdrive again, so be skeptical about any budget cut numbers or other financial data you see posted in comments here — unless the commenter gives a legitimate source.

“Who knows what will happen?” one reader said earlier today. “Maybe there will be even worse cuts. Maybe far less. But to go kneejerk everytime someone posts something is to show no understanding for how things actually work.”

What else should be on my radar screen? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Photo: that’s me, watching CNBC moments ago; picture taken with my MacBook Pro]

4 Responses to “Tickler file: Budget cuts? A looming board meeting”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Just curious …. With the dusmal prospect of more job cuts might I ask …. Have newspapers felt any impact at all as a result of 1000 August layoffs and then 100 department heads a few weeks later? Has anyone noticed more work, less expectations, whatever?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Ok, I meant DISMAL, not dusmal.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    In Honolulu, the execs are telling staff that $5 to $10 million has to be cut. Nothing will be spared, phone room, out, distribution, out. Slash and burn.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    yeah, because slash and burn has improved the product so much that everyone’s rushing to buy it — and the stock.

    gannett fooled a lot of the people for a long time; but who looks like fools now?

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