That Smarts? Or That’s Smart?

I’ve got to hand it to the big wigs at the NYT Company. The folks who run the Old Gray Lady sure seem to have their crystal ball polished for perfect viewing.

Today NYTC announced it is putting all of it’s tv stations on the block. I hear they want to sell them all, at once and before the end of the year.

I know there’s a lot of folks who draw paychecks from these stations who are either anxious or very concerned about what will happen next. Who knows who’ll purchase them (Scripps Howard perhaps?) and what changes they will make?

But here’s some speculation:

Suppose to make the sale more attractive, the NYT decides to cut expenses. Normally that would mean job cuts and layoffs. The trade off there is that along with losing expenses you’re also losing assets (employees). Now that’s the deal with most companies in this situation, but what if there was a way to cut payroll without decreasing the number of employees? What if the company put a clause in it’s contracts to give the company the power to cut salaries and provide no out-clauses for those employees?

It’s smart for the company, but it smarts if you’re one of those employees.

I’ve got lots of friends at those stations and I certainly hope and pray I’m wrong.



Filed under Misc.

3 responses to “That Smarts? Or That’s Smart?

  1. Anonymous

    The sad part is the stunned faces on some of the employees when a manager from New York came into the studio to make the announcement. Did these people not see the signal??? Here your sign!!

    Years past, WREG was satisfied in being No. 2 as long as there is a huge profit margin at then end of the year. Then all of a sudden a couple of years back, WREG’s big boss announced that the goal is to be No. 1 by 2006 and NYT is pouring in big bucks to help pay for the technology and a news chopper. The profit margin went down but WREG did attain No. 1 in most time slots. Did it not occur to anyone at WREG that creating the NYT flagship station No. 1 in its market would make it very attractive to buyers???? Here’s your sign!

    Slowly over the years, the benefits began to disappear – company picnics, Christmas parties, buying stocks at a discount, etc. Here’s your sign!

    Slowly over the years, the higher paid employees were being phased out and as pointed out in this blog, NYT made working under its contract terms less attractive which resulted in some longtime employees not wanting to re-sign their contracts. Here’s your sign!

    Then NYT went for younger reporters and anchors with less experience because it can hire them for way less money. Here’s your sign!

    For the past several months, WREG has been very slow in hiring to replace those who have left. Many of the remaining employees took up the slack of the depleted staff while management said that it was the budget crunch that has caused hiring freezes. Here’s your sign!

    That light at the end of the tunnel was not one of the station’s photographer shooting an interview but a big train that ended up running over the employees of the NYT Broadcast Group.

  2. Anonymous

    It must be great to have clear vision when you’re on the outside looking in…’s your sign.

  3. jamey tucker

    not really sure what you meant by that anonymous. I’m not gloating. I don’t claim to have a clear vision of what’s going to happen with the sale of the station.
    But when I saw that new clause in the contract 3 years ago I wondered why they’d include it if they weren’t preparing for something down the road.
    I’ve never seen a contract that allows the company to void the contract or adjust the salary (up or down) without cause.
    Maybe I’m wrong in guessing that could happen. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

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