Haven't Seen Your Favorite P-D Byline Lately? Blame the F-Word


Read this morning on Post-Dispatch reporter Jeremiah McWilliams' beer blog that he wouldn't be posting anything for a whole week. Blame the cost-cutter du jour in the media business: the furlough.

I guess I was too preoccupied with other projects to notice that the daily's union, the St. Louis Newspaper Guild, voted in late February to accept the plan pitched by company management: a one-week unpaid furlough plan for newsroom and circulation employees. (Maybe some of my usual sources were too depressed about the vote -- 120 for; 64 against; 16 abstained -- to alert me to the news. I know I would have been in the dumps.)

The Post's parent, Lee Enterprises, had previously mandated the F-word for all non-union employees across the chain. They must take the leave before March 31.

Here's what Guild president Jeff Gordon had to say on the Guild blog about the furlough:

"This was an extremely difficult vote for our members. We have suffered a series of layoffs. We have lost many valued co-workers. And the company asked for still another huge sacrifice with no guarantee of job protection. But at the end of the day, many members felt compelled to make this sacrifice in the hope of averting more layoffs."
Perhaps the newsroom furloughs explain some of the snafus on STLtoday.com over the past two or three weeks, including the curious and long-running "most popular" ranking of the Denny's story