No sooner did I post the last entry than into my e-mail box came a copy of the latest newsletter from Robert Bickler, the general manager of the Blethen Maine Newspapers, leading with this little gem:
General Manager’s Update:Owing to a continuation of significant declines and advertising volumes coupled with rising business costs, the executive management team has been working aggressively to develop a plan that will provide additional non-payroll savings including newsprint, travel, supplies, postage and other costs. Unfortunately, it has been determined that we will also need to eliminate a significant number of positions in an effort to bring expenses more in-line with revenues that are available to us. While details are still being worked out, a reduction in workforce is expected to occur effective July 1.Few things are more difficult than eliminating the jobs of valued employees. But, in the current business climate we must maintain the economic viability of our business. Unfortunately, staff reductions are necessary in order to assure that.
The Newspaper Guild's notice, which arrived shortly thereafter, says: "up to 35 full and part-time employees represented by the Guild at the Portland
Newspapers and Maine Today will lose their jobs."
Ironically, accompanying Bickler's e-mailed newsletter to the employees was an updated copy of the evacuation plan for the company's headquarters building at 390 Congress Street. Sounds like a lot of people will be leaving in a hurry.