It’s only slightly less worse than the layoff news that’s been plaguing the newspaper industry lately: The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) is implementing a one-year wage freeze starting Sept. 1. In a memo posted on Romensko, Debbie Abels, president and publisher of McClatchy-owned Rock Hill, SC daily The Herald, said this freeze is being instituted throughout McClatchy, including at the corporate level and McClatchy Interactive. This means McClatchy employees who are due to receive a merit or salary review between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2009, will have to wait one year later than scheduled. The freeze doesn’t affect salary increases tied to promotions or minimum wage adjustments.
In June, McClatchy said it was cutting about 1,400 positions through a mix of buyouts and layoffs. But as Abels tells Herald staffers, attempts to right the company’s balance sheet haven’t gone far enough. Separately, the move follows McClatchy’s sale of its local newspaper rep firm Real Cities to Centro for an undisclosed amount.