Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mac delivers bad news to retirees

Privately held North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record and Herald News, again is cutting expenses to avoid further layoffs, NJMG Chairman Malcolm A. Borg said in a letter to retirees I received Friday. The letter is signed with his nickname, "Mac." (I don't know whether that is from a love for  mac 'n cheese or whether it's short for MacDaddy or Mac the Knife. Or is that the standard abbreviation among wealthy whites for Malcolm?)

Effective Jan. 1, NJMG will no longer reimburse retirees monthly to help them pay for Medicare supplement insurance and will no longer contribute toward the cost of dependent's medical insurance. All medical plans will move to United Healthcare "in order to help contain costs." Mac gives no estimate of anticipated total savings.

A Medicare card, with several areas of the car...Image via Wikipedia

"I can assure you that this decision is not indicative of the great appreciation that I have for your many years of service," Mac wrote. "Despite our difficulties, North Jersey Media Group is still able to go forward, largely because of the work of its talented and dedicated staff -- both present and past."

"I trust you will know that we had no other choice in this matter," he added.

Mac doesn't say NJMG is losing money. In fact, The Record has never lost money and if it had, we were never told it did. That hasn't stopped layoffs, restructuring and salary freezes, but the number of employees affected has never been been made public.

Mac cited dramatic declines industrywide in advertising revenue ("our life-blood") that have forced NJMG "to drastically reduce expenses in order to remain a viable company."
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