Monday, August 25, 2008

N&O publisher: No cuts/buyouts announced “as of now.”

The McClatchy Company recently announced job cuts and buyouts at a number of it’s papers.

McClatchy’s flagship publication, The Sacramento Bee, today reported it had “offered voluntary buyouts to the majority of its full-time employees.” The Bee hinted another round of layoffs may be in the offing.

The news from Sacramento is understandably stirring concern at McClatchy’s Raleigh News & Observer, which has previously offered buyouts, outsourced jobs and cut positions.

I’ve been getting calls and emails all day from readers and even N&O staffers asking if I knew what was happening at the N&O, where rumors are flying.

I decided to call N&O publisher Orage Quarles and ask him what was going on.

We spoke at 4:10 PM ET.

I asked whether any buyout or job cut announcements had just been announced by the N&O.
Quarles said no such announcements have been made by the N&O "as of now."

I asked whether any were expected in the not too distant future.

Quarles response: “No comment.”

I didn’t question further and thanked him for responding to my questions.

I want to get this news posted ASAP.

But I’ll be back on this story later tonight.

Hat tips to all of you who've been alerting me to McClatchy news and the situation at the N&O.

I've said it before but it bears repeating: I'm sorry to see journalists who report the news straight up losing their jobs. I'm also sorry for the support, non-news staffers who are losing theirs.


Anonymous said...


Reviewing the MNI balance sheet, dated 6/30, it appears they are perilously close to running out of cash. Their cash balance showed only $9.3 mil on hand as of 6/30.

Looking at what happened from March to June, it appears they were forced to pay down $200+ million in LT debt. That drained their cash and short term receivables. There are probably restrictions from their LT lenders on what they can and cannot do in terms of refinancing. The company is, by any measure, insolvent. If they are not sold immediately they will be forced to file for ch 11 protection.

Its a 100% bet that there will be layoffs at the N&O.


Anonymous said...

Guess it wasn't the right time to ask Quarles when his newspaper would apologize for its defamatory coverage in March 2006.

Anonymous said...

Karma can be a wonderful thing, dontcha think?
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

The N&O's going down!

No way around that inevitable fact.