Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gannett profits fall a shocking 60 percent in first quarter; employees bracing for big cuts in newsrooms, drastic changes in their lives

The numbers are shocking. And the pain to come for employees will be numbing.

Net profits for Gannett Co. Inc. fell an incredible 60%. As reported by, earnings plunged 60%, to $77.4 million -- 34 cents per share -- from $191.8 million, or 84 cents a share, a year ago. Operating revenues dived 18%, to $1.38 billion from $1.68 billion.

For a company that once was amazingly profitable without having to do much for it, these numbers are unbelievable as far as how quickly the bottom is falling out from under the newspaper industry. Only $77.4 million profit for Gannett in a quarter is mindblowing. And the future for profits is only down.

The company's digital operations reported a loss, showing Gannett has little to offer to change its fortunes according to reader interests. The only things left are to sell a lot of its newspapers and lay people off to raise its profit numbers.

Gannett owns The Tennessean in Nashville.

One employee, writing the blog on Gannett, put the future in very bleak terms for many people still working for the nation's largest newspaper publishing company. These good people face a most uncertain, difficult road ahead:

folks we are going to hit, and hit hard. brace yourself.

don't renew a lease - go month to month. rent out a spare room to a college kid for the summer, or a foreclosure victim in your 'hood who wants to stay local. a family would love your basement or guest room so their kid can finish the school year, a huge issue for the foreclosure crowd. many have jobs but could not keep up with ARMs. they'll pay rent - ask your pastor. mine has a list of families who need shelter and can pay. my neighbor houses a single mom who works two jobs, she is never there but needed a mailing address for the teen. the teen is painting the house as barter. nice kid.

take on a moonlight gig - like UPS or other 24/7 operation.

don't lease a car, and try to turn yours in early. buy a junker - many on the market now at give-away prices. let your contract run out and switch to prepay cell phone - see Consumer Reports, you'll save about 40%. cut cable TV off and never eat out. hike your insurance deductibles to $5k for a 30% rate drop. compare online to see if you have the best prices.

save every penny of that tax refund.

pawn your gold - it is at record highs.

barter for haircuts, lawn mowing, catering, etc. conserve every dollar - this is mayday.

these quarterly results show that even an "improved" economy will not lift this boat.

apply now for fall classes at comm. college or take the GRE or LSAT soon. don't commit to a big-ticket college you can't send your kid to after all. most of us did fine at state u., with loans.

cancel any trips, plant a garden and offer your house for sale. lease-purchase will appeal to a BK victim who has a job but no down payment and bad credit. apply some of their rent to a down, and you will find an applicant.

if you think I am exaggerating then you are mistaken.

retrain and good luck.

No comments: