The alt-weekly in Burlington, VT reports that its local Gannett-owned daily newspaper, Burlington Free Press, has initiated more cost cutting measures: eliminating free parking for employees and bottled water from the breakroom. The bottled water was replaced with mesh screens over bathroom faucets so employees can get fill their mugs there.
Employees were upset.
By Tuesday, longtime Publisher Jim Carey got wind of the grumbling and, we’re told, met personally with employees.
“Essentially, Carey said the paper is not making enough money and they have to make cuts somewhere,” said one Freeps journalist. Carey told workers that management is “trying to avoid layoffs, though that is under discussion.”
The quote from reporter:
“Our CEO makes $16 million a year and our news operation has become unimportant — even locally.”
RO Note: In the first quarter of 2007, Gannett only had $210.6 million in net income.