The following is a union memo to the Inquirer & Daily News staff in the wake of yesterday’s meeting with Philadelphia Media Holdings CEO Brian Tierney:
Tierney: We Face A Dire Situation
The company held a meeting this morning with representatives of all the unions at which publisher Brian Tierney described a grim financial picture for Philadelphia Newspapers. Citing the struggling economy and PN problems meeting debt requirements, Tierney predicted “a dire situation” by summer or fall if the company cannot find ways to cut costs by 10 percent.
Company executives intend to meet one-on-one with each union to discuss ways in which savings might be achieved.
They did not say what would happen if savings targets are not met, but made references to outsourcing jobs overseas. Tierney said he is determined to not lose investors’ money.
The Guild’s representatives at the one-hour session were PN Unit Chair Diane Mastrull and Local Representative Bill Ross.
Sadly, Tierney was especially harsh about our advertising sales staff, saying its union affiliation hampers him from getting the results the company needs. He threatened job cuts if the Guild prevails in arbitrations over what it contends were unjust firings of five advertising reps. In essence, the company is asking the Guild to violate the law by refusing to represent its members. Quite simply, the Guild will not oblige.
We will, however, as we have been doing, work with the company to attempt to find ways the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com can thrive and be a leader in an industry that needs creativity—not finger-pointing—to guide it through these difficult times.
We urge all members with any ideas for building revenue or cutting expenses to communicate them to Guild officers or to email@example.com. We will then prepare a comprehensive response to the company’s request for help.