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McClatchy slashes workers

By   /   Friday, September 19th, 2008  /   Comments Off on McClatchy slashes workers

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McClatchy Co., owner of the San Luis Obispo Tribune, cut its quarterly dividend in half to 9 cents a share and said it will eliminate 10 percent of its staff to lower costs and conserve cash.

The workforce will be reduced by the equivalent of 1,150 full-time jobs, Sacramento-based McClatchy said Sept. 16.

The company, with about $2.1 billion in long-term debt, is cutting costs to counter declining newspaper advertising sales. McClatchy’s ad revenue fell 18 percent in August from a year earlier and is down 17 percent for the first eight months of the year, the company said.

The job cuts should produce savings of $100 million over the next four quarters, excluding severance costs of about $20 million, McClatchy said.

The company, which also publishes the Sacramento Bee and Miami Herald, paid about $41 million in dividends last year. McClatchy stock has fallen 73 percent this year.

The new quarterly dividend will be paid Oct. 6 to shareholders as of Sept. 26, the company said.

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