The "harsh reality" from the Rochester Gannett paper....

Dateline: Tue 02 Dec 2008

Here's a just-released memo from an old Star favorite, Ali Zoibi, who was -- speaking of retreads -- recycled to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle paper in Rochester, N.Y.:

"Subject: A Message from Ali Zoibi

Ali Zoibi

President & Publisher

December 2, 2008

To: All Democrat and Chronicle Employees

As you know from earlier communications, the Democrat and Chronicle, and all Gannett properties, have been asked to sharply reduce expenses in response to the worsening economic situation.

We will cut many non-payroll expenses and continue to look at others. But the harsh reality is we need to cut about eight percent of our current work force.

That translates to 59 jobs in Rochester. Of that, 14 are employees who volunteered to take a severance package of up to 26 weeks pay. Another 11 positions have been open and will be eliminated.

The actual number of layoffs is 34. Severance packages will be given to those impacted. Our revised full-time and part-time employee count totals 680.

All of our meetings will be concluded by noon on Thursday, December 4. This information is being shared with you before it is reported in the media, ours and others in Rochester.

The continuing negative impact on our advertising and circulation revenue and the cost of doing business has created this unpleasant situation.

We do not ever discuss individual personnel issues out of respect for our employees.

The Democrat and Chronicle remains steadfast in its commitment to fulfilling its First Amendment news responsibility, as well as providing excellent daily coverage of the greater Rochester community.

Our skills and experience position us well to take full and immediate advantage of the economic turnaround as it occurs.

I ask you to support your colleagues and join with us to improve our business outlook. Together, we can do it."

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