It is with disappointment that the Denver Newspaper Guild announces members in both the newsroom and non-newsroom units have approved furloughs, to begin immediately*. This necessary concession follows on the heels of the April 3 announcement in which 13 Guild members were laid off — nine in the non-newsroom unit and four in the newsroom unit.
While disappointed, we consider ourselves partners with management and Alden Global Capital ownership, and understand that as balance sheets are blown up and financial projections tossed out the window, the company will need maximum flexibility to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. We will strive to help in any way we can, and hope that in the future as things return to some semblance of normalcy, the company will remember our efforts.
As journalists across the MediaNews Group chain are being furloughed and laid off, we can only hope that corporate executives and ownership are doing their fair share as workers are giving up their paychecks.
We can’t help but wonder if this blow might have been somewhat cushioned had the company better prepared for lean times while making some of the highest profits in the industry. Where did that money go? We can only guess.
Readers have stepped up and subscribed in record numbers as they realize the value of a trusted news source in a time of crisis, and we thank them.
We also were heartened to see Alden Global Capital president Heath Freeman, in a March 20 reply to U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, attest that the company “… is committed to ensuring communities across the country are served by robust, independently minded local journalism.” He went on to say, “Now more than ever, families across the country depend on their local news for timely, fact based reporting. As the on-going global COVID-19 pandemic highlights, reliable news and information is essential to ensuring the health and safety of our local communities.”
The Guild is gratified to hear Mr. Freeman claim to be such a passionate defender of journalism.
We hope he lives up to his word.
*Denver Post Guild employees will take three weeklong unpaid furloughs between now and June 30.