FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Media General Announces Employee Furlough Program
Richmond, Va. – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) announced today that it is implementing an employee furlough program in the face of an economy that continues to contract, causing the advertising market to further weaken.
Employees will take a mandatory 10 days off according to a schedule that requires four days by the end of March and three days each in the Company’s next two fiscal quarters, ending in June and September, respectively. Unionized and other employees under contract are being asked to participate in lieu of layoffs.
“The current economic outlook requires us to be even more cautious than we already have been regarding our revenue expectations,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer. “Despite aggressive sales initiatives and significant cost reductions already implemented, we need to build in additional expense savings to offset the revenue shortfalls we anticipate.
“With this furlough, along with other cost reduction measures already implemented, we are being prudent and proactive as we address the impact of unprecedented economic turmoil in our country and our industry,” said Mr. Morton.
In January, Media General announced that it is suspending the company’s matching contribution on its 401(k) plan effective April 1, 2009, through the end of the year, and the Board of Directors suspended the dividend on its common stock. These actions, together with the furlough, will provide an additional $28 million in 2009 for debt reduction.
About Media General
Media General is a leading provider of local news, information and entertainment over multiple media platforms. The company serves markets primarily in the Southeastern United States. Media General publishes 24 daily newspapers, including The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal; and community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina; plus more than 250 weekly newspapers and other targeted publications. The company owns and operates 19 network-affiliated television stations that reach approximately 30 percent of the television households in the Southeast and nearly 9 percent of those in the United States. The company’s interactive media operations include Web sites and portals that are associated with each of its newspapers and television stations as well as with many specialty publications, and two growing interactive advertising services companies, Blockdot, Inc. and DealTaker.com.
Lou Anne Nabhan