Am I Next? Layoffs at McClatchy.

Sacramento, California-based McClatchy Company, a publishing company operating 29 daily newspapers in fourteen states, has announced a reduction in force with approximately 10-percent of employees being offered a voluntary buyout before proceeding to involuntary layoffs.

Approximately 450 employees will be affected. Following the failure to complete a buyout of the Tribune Company, it appears that McClatchy is restructuring and reducing costs. According to a McClatchy spokesperson, "We are changing the size of the workforce to align with the revenue."

Excerpts from an email sent to company employees from McClatchy CEO Craig Forman…

Central to our transformation is accelerating our revenue potential. With that in mind, we are rolling out two major initiatives:

Driving our company to a functionally-based organizational structure in targeted strategic areas;

Launching a voluntary early retirement program for qualified colleagues, as we continue to align the size of our workforce to the changes that come with digital transformation.

Thanks to our efforts in centralization and regionalization, a number of our groups are already organized by function — such as finance and the people teams — and now we’re taking a page from such digital companies as Google and Microsoft to further group teams by expertise. This will accelerate decision making, increase professional skills development and create operational efficiencies. Bringing together the talents and energy of like-minded colleagues will create new energy and innovation to apply to our revenue challenge.

Voluntary Early Retirement Program

Approximately 450 of our colleagues will receive a voluntary early retirement offer today via email. Colleagues who receive an offer will have the opportunity to participate in webinars and consult with representatives of the People team directly, to determine if this opportunity is right for them and their families. We’ve taken this action with intention, deliberation and respect for the contributions these colleagues have made to our company. It is important to us that they are empowered to decide the next steps on their career paths. This will be a one-time opportunity; we do not anticipate another voluntary early retirement program. Deadline for electing to participate in the program is February 19, 2019.

Forward Steps

The changes outlined above will help us get to growth faster in a digital company that will be smaller for the foreseeable future. They are the culmination of the enormous progress McClatchy has already made in our transition to a digital future; progress that in many ways has paced the industry and would not have been possible without the effort, talent and dedication of the people reading this note.

But I’m also aware that transitions are stressful. Our mission to transform our company is vitally important, but never easy. With that in mind, I want to extend a sincere thank you to everyone at McClatchy, our #OneTeam. Your passion for local journalism and the benefit it brings to our communities — and our democracy — is what binds us all together. It’s the purpose of McClatchy, and it’s never been more important.

Thank you for being part of our success in this journey and we appreciate your continued collaboration, diligence and flexibility.

There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?