According to an internal memo, there will be no salary freezes at Tribune Co. in 2010. In the letter, Tribune’s CEO and COO wrote that the the company had generated nearly $500 million in operating cash flow in 2009, with total earnings reaching more than $600 million.
As a result, the company will not be forced to implement any sort of salary freeze, it says. But, lest employees get too excited, the letter also says this:
This does not mean that everyone will get an increase in compensation — many won’t. The current condition of the economy and our industry do not support across-the-board cost-of-living increases.
We’re encouraging our local managers to review the work of their employees, provide consistent feedback, and to highlight and reward outstanding performance. Some employees may get an increase in salary, others may be eligible for a discretionary or spot bonus, and still others may receive an increase in their target bonus. But, increases in compensation will be based on merit.
At a time when many journalists are living off their netbooks, it’s hard to complain when there is any kind of salary available. And maybe there will even be some competition in the newsroom for who can file the most stories. Or who can be coziest with these local managers.
Last week, Apple unveiled the iPad, sparking talks that the device could be the answer for – or the death of – old media. But it looks like the New York Times might be thinking of other ways to get its content on small screens.
The Times is offering $100 off a Samsung Go netbook with a one-year subscription to the Times Reader 2.0, a “next-generation news reader.”
Given the extreme plug Apple gave the Times at the iPad launch (see the live blog update posted at 1:50 p.m.), the Samsung promotion seems slightly nefarious.
Or maybe it’s part of the Times’ plan to stay cozy with Apple. The Reader only provides the last seven days of Times news whereas the iPad – at least according to reports that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is in talks with the Times to offer a new way to stream content to the iPad’s e-reader – would provide live, fluid (arguably more appealing) news. Bonus: the Reader program doesn’t require internet access.
But why the Times would want to partner with a netbook when it already has obvious support from the iPad is a mystery. Though not as much a mystery as why anyone would want to read week-old stagnant pages of a newspaper on a screen that’s as lilliputian as the keyboard attached to it.
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Pocono Business Journal (East Stroudsburg, Pa.)
The Sentinel (Portland, Ore.)
Woodbridge Sentinel (Woodbridge, N.J.)