Wages frozen, days cut at TimesI'll derive no pleasure from the fact that the Roanoke Times is soon to be no more.
By Jenny Kincaid Boone
The Roanoke Times announced Monday a companywide [sic] wage freeze and a five-day furlough to curb expenses in the midst of a recession and revenue declines that are wounding newspapers nationwide.
The furlough, which will require full-time and some part-time employees to take off five days without pay, will begin in February. The unpaid days will fall one Monday a month through June. Those days are Feb. 16, March 16, April 13, May 11 and June 15.
In early 2008, Norfolk-based Landmark Communications announced that it planned to market for sale its holdings, including The Roanoke Times. But the process halted in October, after potential buyers failed to obtain credit and falling advertising volume caused values to decline. [link]
Sure, like so many others here in Southwest Virginia, I am critical of the left-wing idiocy that appears daily in the editorial section of the paper. In fact, I'm quite offended on a regular basis by the efforts of the editorial page editor and his gang of liberals to drive this country further into the ground. And many of us wished the owner of the paper hadn't promoted an abortion cheerleader to be its publisher.
Both, alas, are excellent reasons for me to never advertise there.
But there is this: The Times, for its size, is a good paper (the above notwithstanding), with top notch reporters, and a nice, professional on-line layout. And it informs.
Most of all, the Roanoke Times is one of Southwest Virginia's largest employers (currently payrolling 390 full-time employees. This area doesn't need additional multitudes joining the ranks of the unemployed. That line is long enough already.
So here's hoping the Times can figure out the magic necessary to keep its doors open.
Here's hoping folks there find that magic soon.