Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Forbes Cuts Pay, Condé Nast Cuts Jobs

Layoffs at Forbes Media, which started yesterday, continued into today. And employees who kept their jobs are getting a pay cut in the form of a mandatory week-long furlough without pay; higher-paid employees will also get an additional cut in salary. Meanwhile fellow publisher Condé Nast continued its cost-cutting push: Yesterday it got rid of some its secretaries; today it is losing 20 people from its digital team.

I don’t have further details on the Forbes cuts other than to note that some of what you’ve read at other sites about power grabs and such is inaccurate. If the Forbes folks pass along a statement to me, I’ll run it. Here’s the memo Forbes CEO Steve Forbes circulated to his staff today detailing the furlough, etc:

This is a very painful message. It is no secret that the economy is in a deep contraction and that the media business in particular has been especially hard hit. While we are doing better than our peers, our business has been adversely affected. Because of this, it has been necessary to take certain measures.

A number of our colleagues were laid off over the last two days across all areas of the business. This is due to the unprecedented economic environment we find ourselves in today and the need for ongoing reorganization of the company in response to the enormous technological changes affecting media.

Other measures we are taking include suspending the 401K matching contribution. There will be salary reductions for anyone making over $100,000, amounting to 10% of the increment over $100,000, starting with the April 1 pay period.

Everyone will take a week long furlough with no pay. You should talk to your manager about scheduling this furlough. HR will be sending you further information with regard to this furlough in a separate communication. This is not part of the vacation time you have accrued from service at the company.

These are serious and unfortunate steps, but we believe they are necessary and sadly unavoidable.

We deeply appreciate all that you do every day for the company and hope that in the months to come there will be a real positive turn in the economy.

Meanwhile, Condé Nast, which laid off some of its secretaries yesterday, has let go of a reported 20 people at its Condé Nast Digital group. A spokesperson says the “streamlining” is a result of the reorganization of Web properties it made earlier this year. At the time, Condé said that reorg would not result in layoffs.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google