Gary Pruitt, CEO of McClatchy, the second-largest newspaper corporation in America, tried to boost morale among workers at his struggling company in a video (reported by Editor and Publisher). He said the chain needs to make what amounts to cuts of another $500 million - after a year of $800 million in "debt payments" - and that the company may not have reached bottom. "At this point we simply can't tell when this decline will end," he said.
Not exactly reassuring from an executive who took more than $10 million in compensation the past two years. I guess he can afford to be cheery: he's doing great. And if he drives the company into the ground and get canned by the board, he'll do even better with an even larger compensation send off.
Pruitt insists his company would still be in the same "downturn" if they hadn't purchased the larger Knight Ridder Corporation a few years back. Maybe his company would be, but the papers he acquired wouldn't be as bad off. Granted, the industry is definitely facing declining earnings, but many of the former KR papers wouldn't be facing the same level of cutbacks on their own. Some of them were making pretty good money before McClatchy came to town. I know; I used to work at one.
Yes, Pruitt's compensation is a drop in the big bucket leaking millions, but tell that to the workers in the newsrooms and pressrooms who are struggling on meager pay. Pruitt can make these claimes on video, but I dare him to step into a newsroom with "You Can't Always Get What You Want" playing in the backround.