Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hartford Courant Slasher Memo & Have A Nice Weekend

Nov. 10, 2006

Hartford Courant colleagues:

In recent weeks the challenges facing the media industry have been well documented. At the Hartford Courant these same forces are working against our ability to grow revenue and circulation. As a result I have asked the executive team to lower operating costs for 2007.

We have decided to take action to reduce compensation expenses as well as other general costs. Compensation reduction will come from 20 position eliminations at The Courant with 8 supervisory and non-supervisory employees informed today of their layoff, as well as eliminations of 12 positions vacant through attrition. The previously announced circulation call center outsourcing will further contribute to the position reductions. General expense reductions will affect travel, entertainment, property lease costs and outside expenses.

Transformative changes in how we manage our print and on-line businesses will be critical to maintaining our market position and our continued ability to serve readers and advertisers. Unprecedented collaboration between departments has resulted in the robust launch of the new Connecticut Section and Towns Online with promising results. We have restructured our Advertising Department to focus a new strategies and new business development, which should contribute positively to our revenue projections. The News Department is thinking about a host of creative ideas to bring relevant content to our readers. We will dramatically ramp up our on-line commitment with high-impact pages and story packages, creating multimedia and interactive platforms for web users. This comes with a goal of seamless integration of the web and print efforts throughout the company.

Today’s action on employees is difficult but necessary and I ask for your continued focus on doing the very best you can everyday. Our aggressive efforts will bring visible and measurable results in 2007.

Steve [Carver]



This has been a roller coaster week in many ways.

I know the uncertainty surrounding layoffs has been difficult.

There were three layoffs in News. All the people have now been told.

I want to provide a certain zone of privacy for any of those laid off who might appreciate it, so I am not announcing their names today.

Some of you know some of the names. By Monday if word hasn't filtered out to everybody, just ask your supervisor, or me, and we'll give you the info.

The people who are laid off have all made contributions here. They are colleagues and friends.

I hope that severance pay, benefit continuation and job counseling ease the way to a good future for all of them.

Please reach out to them for suitable goodbyes.

Thank you, belatedly, for all the hard work on the elections.

I hope your weekends are restorative.

I will see you next week.

Cliff [Teutsch]


Anonymous said...


Her Goebels the great communicator for the Nazi's could not have done a better job of following orders.

ken krayeske said...

I wish now-fired LA Times editor Dean Baquet worked in Hartford. He at least went down with a fight against newsroom cuts. While I respect Cliff Teutsch, I don't know that I could stand by while corporate bean counters continued to rip into the institution of community journalism. We've lost MetroBridge, NE and a host of reporters for Hartford.

These cuts affect our towns and cities , and makes places like ctnewsjunkie all the more vital.

When 20 percent profit margins aren't enough, what recourse do we have? Would Jack Davis have made these cuts? Or Brian Toolan? Or Marty Petty? Probably. Thomas Green wouldn't have.

One day, we'll see real leadership. I hope the Courant is sold soon.

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