Furloughs Begin At Westwood One
September 29, 2009 at 11:38 AM (PT)
As first reported on ALL ACCESS, (NET NEWS 9/25) furloughs have just been announced to the staff at WESTWOOD ONE.
ALL ACCESS has learned that the plan for fourth quarter involves a pay cut equal to five days' worth of pay spread out over 10 weeks, plus a one-week (5-day) unpaid furlough consisting of THANKSGIVING and the day after (formerly paid holidays, now unpaid) plus three additional furlough days that employees must schedule. In addition, a bonus plan for 2010 will be in place that will bonus eligible employees the equivalent of five days' pay plus 10% based on performance, and eligible employees will also earn one additional paid vacation day per quarter in 2010 for use in 2010 only.
In a memo to the company's staff, Pres. ROD SHERWOOD noted the company's cautious outlook in the face of declining radio industry ad revenues and WESTWOOD ONE's previous cutbacks, but added, "In spite of all our efforts, and the sacrifices our employees have made, we are not yet experiencing the kind of revenue growth we need to meet our financial goals and support our current cost structure. We have experienced a revenue shortfall this third quarter, and we face continued uncertainty in the fourth quarter. Moreover, no one can accurately predict when a sustainable recovery in the advertising marketplace and the radio business will begin. Consequently, we have to take prudent business actions to further reduce our costs now in order to protect, and position, the Company for long-term success and growth in 2010."
SHERWOOD said that the company had "made every effort to avoid layoffs" and has "tried to be as balanced as possible in our approach," but is instituting the furlough plan "that requires all of us to give up something, and we are also announcing an opportunity to gain something in the future. The program is mandatory for all full-time employees, with limited exceptions for operational necessity. Network and METRO advertising sales will be implementing separate plans for sales management and employees. We will also shortly be discussing the plans with the unions that represent our employees and expect that they will participate."