In the largest action in the chain’s history, staffers at Gannett went on strike Monday to protest the leadership of CEO Mike Reed.
The Washington Post reported:
Hundreds of staffers for 24 Gannett newspapers, including the Arizona Republic, Austin American-Statesman and the Palm Beach Post, say they will not report to work for a day or two … forfeiting pay and forgoing assignments ranging from city council meetings to high school sports championship games. At some papers, the strikes begin Tuesday.
Their aim, they say, is to call attention to budget cuts and put pressure on shareholders, who are expected to take up the issue of executive pay at a meeting Monday. Demonstrating journalists want shareholders to take a no-confidence vote against CEO Mike Reed, whom they fault for the company’s financial struggles.
In a financial filing, the NewsGuild — the union representing more than 50 Gannett newsrooms — writes that Reed has “failed shareholders,” arguing that other newspaper companies are faring better.
“[Journalists] need support and resources to make sure our communities have the local news needed to keep our democracy thriving,” Jon Schleuss, NewsGuild president, said in a statement.
In a company statement, Gannett said “our leadership is focused on investing in local newsrooms and monetizing our content” during a challenging economic climate. “Our goal is to preserve journalism and serve our communities across the country as we continue to bargain in good faith to finalize contracts that provide equitable wages and benefits for our valued employees.”
Gannett also said it was prepared for the anticipated work stoppage and pledged that “no disruption to our content or ability to deliver trusted news.”
Read more here.