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.